The UAB Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences offers research opportunities for UAB medical students and graduate students in both basic and clinical research. Areas of faculty interest include:

  • Vision impairment and low vision rehabilitation
  • Behavioral health issues in chronic disease
  • Morphometry and biomechanical properties of the optic nerve head
  • Growth and remodeling in keratoconus and myopia
  • Epidemiology of eye disease and vision impairment
  • Aging-related eye disease and vision impairment
  • Pressure mechanisms in glaucoma
  • Pathogenesis and image validation in age-related macular degeneration
  • Complement in uveitis and age-related macular degeneration
  • Reprogramming and stem cells in retinal development
  • High-resolution retinal imaging
  • Visual perception and eye movements in low vision

More in-depth information is found on research faculty section of our website. There is also an online database that hosts descriptions of research projects open to medical, graduate, and undergraduate students at UAB.

There are two types of research projects for UAB medical students:

This is a course requirement of the School of Medicine and typically occurs during the second or third year of medical school. It is an intensive two month experience during which the student works closely with a faculty member toward publishable research. The grade for the course is dependent upon successful completion and active participation.

Interested students should apply several months prior to their scheduled block. Contact the faculty member directly by email and include a statement of interest and a current CV.

These occur during the summer following the first year of medical school and are funded on a competitive basis through the School of Medicine or through grants from extramural organizations such as research foundations.

They are competitive and limited in number so first year medical students considering a summer research project are strongly recommended to make inquiries about summer research by January 1.

For the summer research program through the School of Medicine, students are advised to go to Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP) website or contact MSSRP Director Dr. Robin Lorenz’s office at

Some outside foundation which offer student funding for summer research projects are listed below.

Committed to the preservation and restoration of sight

Long recognized as a leader in groundbreaking research , innovative patient care, and comprehensive education, the UAB Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences hit a major milestone in 2018, ranking fifth in nationally ranked ophthalmology departments in the amount of funding it receives from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with over $10.6 million in NIH annual funding for fiscal year 2018. This accomplishment represents the significant growth in the UAB Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences' research capacity while further enhancing our ability to recruit and retain world-class researchers, treating patients living with blinding diseases, and providing a world-class education for the next generation of ophthalmologists. 


Through laboratory, clinical and translational research our faculty are expanding knowledge and exploring new treatments and cures.

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UAB Ophthalmology provides comprehensive training programs for medical students, residents and fellows.

Patient Care

The experienced ophthalmology specialists at UAB offer patients the most advanced vision care available.


Annual Report

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