Recent News

New researcher joins ophthalmology

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MiYoung Kwon, Ph.D., joins the UAB Department of Ophthalmology as an assistant professor. Dr. Kwon’s research focuses on understanding how eye disorders impact the way visual information is processed in the brain and how the brain learns to see the world in degraded viewing conditions. Her ultimate goal is to identify the factors that limit visual performance and then use this understating to improve the functional vision of people with visual impairment. 

“We are delighted that Dr. Kwon has joined our faculty. Her research on how the brain processes visual information in persons with various eye disorders is cutting edge and is critical for developing effective treatments and rehabilitation strategies for persons with vision impairment,” said Cynthia Owsley, Ph.D., M.S.P.H, professor and Nathan E. Miles Chair of Ophthalmology.

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Read named to endowed professorship

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Russell W. Read, M.D., Ph.D., was named the inaugural holder of the Max and Lorayne Cooper Endowed Professorship in Ophthalmology Residency Training. 

“Dr. Read has been instrumental in positioning our residency program as a leading program for educating the ophthalmologists of tomorrow. This professorship is well deserved, and will provide Dr. Read with the resources to continue to strengthen our outstanding program,” said Christopher A. Girkin, M.D., M.S.P.H., professor and EyeSight Foundation of Alabama Endowed Chair.

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UAB research receives attention among European ophthalmologists

Two research projects from the UAB AMD Histopathology Laboratory, directed by Christine A. Curcio, Ph.D., were presented this week at the Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft, which is the German equivalent of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of vision loss among the elderly that is currently only treatable in one of its late stages. Our scientists are working to understand the early stages of AMD so this vision-stealing disease can be treated sooner.

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UAB ophthalmologists participate in healthy aging webinar

Christopher Girkin, M.D., and Cynthia Owsley, Ph.D., of the UAB Department of Ophthalmology, along with Torrey DeKeyser, executive director of the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, participated in a webinar on September 5, 2014, titled “How Our Eyes Age – The Impact on Everyday Life.” The webinar was hosted by Grantmakers in Aging, which is an organization that acts as a catalyst for philanthropy.

Drs. Girkin and Owsley discussed eye disorders that are commonly associated with aging, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, as well as how aging-related vision impairment impacts everyday life. They also provided suggestions of healthy behaviors that protect eyesight. DeKeyser explained how her organization is working to address vision issues for older adults in the community.

Listen to the full webinar.

The webinar was co-sponsored by the John A. Hartford Foundation, Research to Prevent Blindness and the Eyesight Foundation of Alabama.

A Bold Vision

PresidentWatts-TorreyDeKeyser-DrHofland-DrGirkinA unique and dynamic philanthropic collaboration has resulted in a gift commitment to establish the Research to Prevent Blindness/Susan and Dowd Ritter Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology Research in the UAB Department of Ophthalmology. The $3.75-million endowment, one of the largest in UAB history, will enable the department to recruit a world-class scientist to join its existing roster of international experts in the study of blinding diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma.

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Huisingh awarded scholarship for aging research

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Carrie Huisingh, M.P.H., statistician in the UAB Department of Ophthalmology, was awarded the UAB Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging Research Scholarship in Aging for the 2014-2015 academic year. This scholarship is awarded annually to four UAB graduate students whose proposed research examines an aspect of the aging process that impacts the health and well-being of a significant segment of the elderly population.

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Growth of Ocular Biomechanics evident at 2014 World Congress of Biomechanics

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m. A. Fazio

The growth of the field of ocular biomechanics was on display at the 7th World Congress of Biomechanics July 6 to July 11, 2014, and the UAB Department of Ophthalmology Program of Ocular Biomechanics and Biotransport was at the forefront of this exciting meeting. 

Rafael Grytz, Ph.D., assistant professor of ophthalmology, was invited to co-organize and chair the Biomechanics of the Eye Symposium, which featured 18 presentations and one keynote lecture about the field of ocular biomechanics.

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Rhodes named to prestigious Leadership Development class

Rhodes.NAL2013Lindsay A. Rhodes, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham was named to the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Leadership Development Program Class of 2015. This prestigious program represents a commitment by the AAO to develop future leaders.

The group comprises 20 ophthalmologists from across the United States and one international appointee. Rhodes, who joined the faculty in 2013 upon completion of her glaucoma fellowship and residency at UAB, has taken an active role in the ophthalmic community.

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UAB’s Gamlin wins Disney award for “lazy eye” research

Gamlin web Paul D. Gamlin, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been awarded the RPB Walt and Lilly Disney Award for Amblyopia Research by Research to Prevent Blindness.

Amblyopia, commonly referred to as “lazy eye,” is the major cause of monocular blindness in America, affecting up to 3 percent of young children. Gamlin will use the $100,000 award to investigate the role of the brain’s cerebellum in maintaining eye alignment.

“This generous award will allow me to investigate how eyes align and focus,” said Paul D. Gamlin, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “These investigations should provide important insights into how these mechanisms malfunction in amblyopia, which will allow us to suggest new treatments for this common disease.”

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