Internationally respected UCLA eye surgeon Dr. Leonard Apt, who co-developed an inexpensive antiseptic eye drop that substantially reduced the incidence of blindness in children in developing countries, died Feb. 1 at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, after a brief illness. He was 90.
A founding member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA and an emeritus professor of ophthalmology, Apt was the first physician in the world to become board-certified in both pediatrics and ophthalmology. He devoted his career to preventing blindness in children.
Together with longtime collaborator Dr. Sherwin Isenberg, Apt identified povidone–iodine as a safe topical antimicrobial agent. Prior to their research, no previous studies provided a standard for sterilizing the surface of th…