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Leonard Apt, MD, a founding member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA and emeritus professor of ophthalmology, died Feb. 1 after a brief illness. He was 90.
Dr. Apt's career was filled with many firsts, including the first physician in the world to become board-certified in both pediatrics and ophthalmology. He also co-developed an antiseptic eye drop, commercially known as Betadine, that substantially reduced the incidence of blindness in children in developing countries. He devoted his career to preventing blindness in children.
Dr. Apt also invented several diagnostic tests, including the Apt test, which distinguishes between fetal and maternal blood after birth. He was the first to use plastic tubing for blood transfusions. He developed a test that predicts allergy to catgut and collagen sutures prior to surgery and he developed a formula to determined the eyes' proper position under anesthesia.
Dr. Apt joined UCLA in 1961 and founded the first full-time pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus division. He was also co-founder and co-director of the UCLA Center to Prevent Childhood Blindness.