Vale Professor Ravi Thomas

29 Nov, 2023

It is with great sadness that we report the sudden passing of Professor Ravi Thomas, an internationally recognised glaucoma researcher and specialist, and former clinician, educator and researcher at the Queensland Eye Institute (QEI).

Professor Ravi Thomas
Professor Ravi Thomas

Ravi was drawn to saving sight from an early age. Both of his parents were ophthalmologists, some of the first to qualify in India in the late 1940’s, who elected to work in a small village in central India.

Ravi spent his school holidays at their clinic, often sitting in when they saw patients. He watched his first eye surgery at the age of eight, eventually studying medicine to become an ophthalmologist and later a recognised expert in glaucoma, publishing the first papers on the progression of Primary Angle Closure Suspects and the progression of Primary Angle Closure.

In 2008 Professor Lawrence Hirst recruited Ravi to be QEI’s academic glaucoma specialist. Ravi was passionate about evidence-based ophthalmology and a strong interest in Bayesian statistics and how it could be applied to ophthalmic research. Prior to that appointment, Ravi had been Head of the Ophthalmology Department at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, and Director of the LV Prasad Eye Institute in India.

Ravi has been recognised for his significant contributions to glaucoma and glaucoma research, including the Australian and New Zealand Glaucoma Society Gillies Medal in 2019, awarded at the World Glaucoma Congress. He returned to India annually to teach clinical skills and the principles of evidence-based ophthalmology.

When not practising medicine or pursuing teaching and research, Ravi enjoyed martial arts, playing the harmonica and spending time with his family. Ravi is survived by his wife Promila and children Ariez and Aleysha, daughter-in-law Sharmeen and granddaughter Ayleen.

Ravi will always be remembered as a well-respected clinician, colleague and, above all, a friend. His unique humour, advice and friendship will be greatly missed.

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