Leadership BannerChristopher A. Girkin, M.D., MSPH, FACS
EyeSight Foundation of Alabama Professor and Chair
I am honored to serve as the chair of this dynamic department that is committed to high-quality patient care, innovative research, and comprehensive education.

Since 2012, the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Callahan Eye Hospital have undertaken transformative growth in our clinical enterprise, faculty ranks, translational science, and research efforts. This growth was spurred on by collaborative investments from the UAB School of Medicine, the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, and the International Retinal Research Foundation, collectively known as the Vision of Excellence program.

The Vision of Excellence program has allowed us to expand our department from 29 to 51 faculty—a move that reinforces our ability to provide comprehensive training to the next generation of ophthalmologists, develop cutting-edge research, and deliver high-quality care across all subspecialties. This growth has resulted in a substantial increase in federal research awards, such that our department now ranks No. 5 in funding from the National Institutes of Health, up from No. 36 in 2013.

Our recent top twenty ranking in NIH funding distinguishes our depth and breadth of vision research that is unmatched in our region. We have been, and will continue to be, focused on retaining and recruiting top faculty members, developing new models of care delivery, and expanding our research programs. These endeavors all support our vision — to become a renowned leader in the treatment and cure of blinding diseases.

As the population ages, eye health needs will continue to increase and become more important in sustaining overall health. This underscores the necessity of our current progress. Ultimately, our success will move us closer to eliminating the suffering caused by blinding disease, improve access to care, and train the next generation of physicians and scientists.

We are proud of the progress we are making, as it reflects the commitment we established over 50 years ago to preserving and restoring global eye health.