Kelly Nichols named dean of School of Optometry

Dr. Kelly NicholsKelly K. Nichols, O.D., MPH, Ph.D., FAAO, one of the world’s leading vision scientists in the area of dry eye disease, has been named dean of the UAB School of Optometry. She will begin her new position July 25.

Dr. Nichols comes to UAB from the University of Houston, where she served as a professor since 2011. While at UH, she co-founded and served as the executive director for The Ocular Surface Institute, a translational research institute focused on bench-to-bedside research on ocular surface conditions. Prior to joining the faculty at UH, Nichols was a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Optometry from 2000-2011.

Nichols received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of California at Berkeley, completed a residency in ocular disease at a tertiary referral medical center in Colorado, and earned her MPH in biostatistics and Ph.D. in vision science at The Ohio State University.

She will assume leadership of the UAB School of Optometry, traditionally one of the top recipients of outside research funding in the country. UABSO has awarded more than 1,300 Doctor of Optometry degrees, 322 residency-completion certificates, 62 master’s degrees and 58 doctoral degrees. The school is also consistently a national leader in the percentage of students who pass the national board exams.