Thomas T. Norton, Ph.D., F.A.A.O.
Professor, Vision Sciences

Contact Information:  
Office - (205) 934-6742

Physical Address:
Office: 606 Worrell Building
Lab: 302 Worrell Building
924 18th Street South

Mailing Address:
WORB 606
1530 Third Avenue South
Birmingham, AL  35294-4390



B.S. - Yale University
Ph.D. - University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA )

Postdoctoral fellow, University of Pennsylvania


Administrative Responsibilities:



Secondary Appointments:

Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

Professor, Department of Neurobiology, School of Medicine



Dr. Norton and his wife have two grown children, a daughter living in Austin, TX and a son living in Charlotte, NC.  He enjoys supporting UAB football and basketball and attending concerts and plays at the Alys Stephens Center.  He tends a small vegetable garden and enjoys traveling to Europe, Australia and Asia and around the U.S.


Scholarly Activity:

Teaching -

Optometry Professional Program Co-coursemaster – OPVS 111, Basic Science and Clinical Optometry

Vision Science Graduate Program - VIS SCI 748, Central Visual Mechanisms II


Research -

Dr. Norton, his colleagues and students study the neurobiological mechanism that operates in the juvenile eye to match axial length to the optical power, producing eyes in good focus (emmetropia). The goals of this research are to learn how emmetropia is normally produced, how the emmetropization mechanism is disrupted to produce myopia or hyperopia, and how to prevent myopia from developing in children. We use optical, ultrasound, histological and biochemical and molecular biology techniques to study this in tree shrews, mammals closely related to primates. It appears that a vision-dependent retinal signal during postnatal development controls the axial elongation rate by controlling the biochemical makeup and biomechanical properties of the sclera. Current studies are investigating changes in mRNA levels and protein levels in the retina and sclera of eyes that are developing an induced myopia to understand the signaling pathways that control axial length. Dr. Norton is currently principal investigator of NIH/NEI grant EY05922. In addition, Dr. Norton and colleagues are developing the tree shrew as an animal model for glaucoma.




Additional Information:


Dr Jillian Meadows presents her research during the VSGP Student Seminar Series
Sponsored by the UAB VSRC, the Helen Keller Art show honors students with visual impairments for their artistic abilities and creative works.
Vision Science PhD trainee Katie Bales presents her research during the VSGP Student Seminar Series


UAB School of Optometry
1716 University Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35233
P: (205) 975-2020



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