A leading university like UCLA sees its researchers transform visionary ideas into life-changing reality. For more than 50 years, beloved and pioneering Bruin Dr. Leonard Apt did just that: One of the world’s first physicians to earn board certification in pediatrics and ophthalmology, he dedicated his career to preventing blindness for the youngest patients.
Today Apt’s commitment to children’s eyesight continues through a generous bequest. Since his passing in 2013, the Leonard Apt Trust has given more than $15 million to UCLA Stein Eye Institute. Building on a fellowship and chair created during his lifetime, the new Leonard Apt, MD Pediatric Fellowship Fund, Pediatric EyeSTAR Residency Training Fund, and Pediatric Ophthalmology Fund will sustain focused efforts in the specialty he started.
The Gift of Sight
An original member of Stein Eye, Apt co-founded the Center to Prevent Childhood Blindness. He and fellow faculty also developed safer, more affordable medication for fighting post-operative infection and blindness in newborns — a treatment now helping thousands in the U.S. and across Africa and Asia. Apt put UCLA on the map as the first U.S. medical school to offer pediatric ophthalmology service.
“Dr. Apt’s philanthropy will create a living and enduring monument in the form of vast numbers of children who will enjoy the gift of sight in California and throughout the world,” says Dr. Joseph Demer, chief of the pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus division that the prolific professor established. From early discoveries to estate gifts, Apt’s compassion for children drove his life’s work and continues to define his legacy.
Published September 2017