The Cornea & Contact Lens Society of Australia (CCLSA) has established The CCLSA Brien Holden Memorial Award & Lecture in recognition of the late Professor Brien Holden OAM. The award was presented for the first time, at the 17th ICCLC in Noosa, October 2019, to Lewis Williams PhD and Steve Zantos PhD.
At the awards ceremony, the audience was reminded of Professor Holden’s invaluable contribution to the CCLSA. Alongside Ken Bell, he created the International Contact Lens Congress (ICLC) in 1972, now known as the International Cornea & Contact Lens Congress (ICCLC).
Prof Holden was also a key driver behind the CCLSA research awards, initiated in 1973. Since then over AU$600,000 in grants have been awarded to leading optometrists, and international contact lens research, practise and industry. Prof Holden was instrumental in helping millions of people around the world to see. He collaborated with over 360 people on research papers, and set the standard for much work in corneal physiology and related fields. Globally recognised, Prof Holden was awarded honorary doctorates and in 2014 received the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) Charles F. Prentice Award. The AAO created the Brien Holden Humanitarian Award,1 which honours and reflects Prof Holden’s interest in public health and humanitarian endeavours.
Yvonne Holden, Prof Holden’s widow, presented the medals to Dr Lewis Williams and Dr Steve Zantos, the founding members of Prof Holden’s Cornea and Contact Lens Research Unit (CCLRU) at the University of New South Wales.
Dr Williams worked behind the scenes in many of the CCLRU projects and is experienced in developing instrumentation and adapting photographic equipment for research purposes. He has been a key person in the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE), creating much of the content in the various modules they have developed and disseminated over the years.
Dr Zantos quickly rose to international fame when he and Prof Holden collaborated on their ground-breaking work on endothelial blebs, guttata and related corneal physiological research. They studied the issues surrounding corneal hypoxia observed with the newly developed HEMA soft contact lenses.
Dr Lewis and Dr Zantos were also Prof Holden’s first two PhD students.
- www.mivision.com.au/2016/11/aao-establishes-brienholden- humanitarian-award/