Stephen Odaibo

B.S. 2001; M.S. 2002

Career: Residency in Ophthalmology at Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC; Fellowship in Medical Retina, University of Michigan; Retina Specialist, Medical Associates Clinic in Dubuque, Iowa

Advisor: James Ward and Marius Nkashama (Math), Michael W. Quick (Neurobiology)

Further Education:

  • M.S. 2009, Computer Science, Duke University
  • M.D. 2010, Duke University School of Medicine 
  • Internship in Internal Medicine 2011, Duke University Hospital

The UAB Math Fast Track Program was a wonderfully rich experience for me. It provided me with a solid foundation in rigorous critical thinking, which has served me well in my career. An understanding of formal problem structure has been a definite advantage, and has provided the means to make forays into seemingly disparate areas within medicine. For instance, within a few months of each other, I wrote a book on the quantum mechanical underpinnings of the MRI machine and then provided the first quantitative demonstration of non-paraxial light bending in the human cornea. The latter result was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the best papers in physics or computer science submitted to the arXiv in October 2011. I have stayed active in Mathematics and intend to continue. My most recent project was a book on Finite Group Theory, which I was delighted to dedicate to Dr. James Robert Ward Jr., who was a great mentor and friend during my time at UAB.

After leaving UAB, I went to Duke University School of Medicine. I found my UAB preparation to be excellent. I topped my class at Duke in Neurology and was awarded the Barrie Hurwitz Award for Excellence in Clinical Neurology. At Duke I had the opportunity to work with some of the best minds in science. I spent two years in Robert J. Lefkowitz' lab studying G protein coupled receptors. Dr. Lefkowitz was subsequently awarded the 2012 Nobel prize in Chemistry. Another of my Biochemistry professors at Duke, Dr. Paul Modrich, won the Nobel prize in Chemistry.

I completed my internship in internal medicine at Duke and proceeded to Howard University for my residency in ophthalmology. I enjoyed my time at Howard and thereafter went to the University of Michigan for a fellowship in Medical Retina. Ann Arbor was a delight and could very well have been a final stop. After my fellowship, I accepted an excellent job as a Retina Specialist at the Medical Associates Clinic in Dubuque Iowa. This has allowed me the intellectual and creative flexibility to continue developing Quantum Lucid Research Laboratories, a company I started while in residency. In my capacity as Chief Scientist of Quantum Lucid Research Laboratories, I have been invited to deliver the Opening Keynote Address at the 2016 Global Ophthalmologists meeting in Osaka, Japan.

I am grateful for my time at UAB and I maintain my ties to the institution. For instance, I had the privilege of having dinner with Dr. John Mayer and Dr. Lex Oversteegen on a number of occasions since I left UAB — once when they both visited Durham/Chapel Hill, and a couple of times when Dr. Mayer visited Washington D.C. Interestingly, fellow fast-tracker, Eric Teoh, was present at each of those dinners as we seem to move to the same cities. My brother, David Odaibo, is at UAB working on his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering with a specialization in Machine Learning. We recently started a collaboration developing algorithms that may soon be able to read retinal images and determine the correct diagnosis and treatment plan.

Overall, my time in the UAB Math Fast Track program was foundational. I am especially thankful to all my mentors and teachers at the UAB Mathematics Department; to all of you I say a resounding thank you!!!