Clinical learning during optometry school is critical. Over four years, students spend three years developing clinical skills as part of their curriculum. This year, however, a group of students decided to pursue an additional opportunity and now see patients once per month at Equal Access Birmingham (EAB).

by Cary Estes

When it comes to research faculty recruitment and research grants, 2022 was a very good year for the UAB School of Optometry.

Hannah Morrison has been awarded the $10,000 Optometry Cares 2023 Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship. To compete for the scholarship, the UAB School of Optometry student created a social media toolkit about the importance of comprehensive eye exams for children beginning at six months of age.

The Doctor of Optometry Program for International Students (DOPIS) welcomed three internationally trained students to the inaugural cohort in the summer of 2022.

After his pediatrician found an abnormal red reflex in his eyes, baby Kash Kennamer was referred to an ophthalmologist who diagnosed the infant with aphakia. Then at four months old, Kash underwent cataract surgery. Following a referral from Callahan Eye Hospital, one week later, his parents brought Kash to UAB Eye Care’s new Pedi­atric Aphakia Clinic started by Natalie West, OD.

Resolutions can be difficult to keep. However, as the year starts, here are several related to your eyes and vision that are good for your ocular health!

In a preclinical model, School of Optometry researchers Timothy Gawne, Ph.D., and Thomas Norton, Ph.D., studied how adjusting visual cues through chromatically simulated myopic blur could be useful in slowing the progression of myopia, or nearsightedness. Read more on UAB News


More than 800,000 people a year visit their health care provider because of double vision, and around 50,000 people every year go to the emergency room because they have double vision.

Read more on UAB News



by Satina Richardson

For the ninth consecutive year, Community Eye Care, the community service arm of UAB Eye Care at the UAB School of Optometry (UABSO), hosted Gift of Sight. The weeklong event provided 216 patients in need with free comprehensive eye exams and glasses.

MARCH 27, 1924 - DECEMBER 2, 2022

It is with great sadness that the UAB School of Optometry announces the passing of Lester Caplan, OD, M.Ed, FAAO, professor emeritus, and a pioneer of clinical contact lens research. He died on December 2nd, at the age of 98.

by Satina Richardson

Valencia Wells, OD, class of 2009, is the UAB School of Optometry Alumni Association’s 2022 Young Alumnus of the Year. She sites this honor and receiving the same honor from the Alabama Optometric Association (ALOA) as being highlights of her career thus far.

Brittany Martin, class of 2023, was one of 10 optometry students from across the country invited to participate in the VSP Vision™ Premier Program annual meeting, SHiFT22 held in Scottsdale, AZ, in October.

In its 24th year, the annual Springer Lecture brings a distinguished vision scientist or clinician to the UAB School of Optometry to share knowledge with students and faculty. Leo Semes, OD, FAAO, was the 2022 guest lecturer.

Semes, a UABSO emeritus professor, and retired clinician scientist, titled his lecture How Discovery Favors the Prepared Mind. He explained the meaning of the title.

Safal Khanal, OD, PhD, FAAO, assistant professor at the UAB School of Optometry, received the 2022 Career Development Award from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). Khanal is the School’s first faculty member and one of only six faculty members nationwide to receive this honor since its inception in 2015.

Janene Sims, OD, PhD, FAAO, is the state’s 2022 Optometric Educator of the Year. The American Optometric Association (ALOA) granted the associate professor this honor.

by Satina Richardson

For his thought leadership and contributions to the profession of optometry, Howell Findley, OD, is the 2022 UAB School of Optometry Alumni Association Alumnus of the year.

by Satina Richardson

Marina Gorbatyuk, PhD, has been awarded a three-year, $445,500, R01 grant co-funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Eye Institute (NEI).

Prior to applying to optometry school, Dustin Scott was a Community Eye Care (CEC) work study student. This experience allowed him to witness firsthand the impact that visits to the Black Belt to provide free eye and vision care had on the communities.

by Satina Richardson

Adam Gordon, OD, MPH, FAAO, has been named the UAB School of Optometry’s first CooperVision Endowed Scholar – Myopia Management and Contact Lenses.

Yuchen Wang, PhD, assistant professor of vision science at the UAB School of Optometry, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pathway to Independence Award known as an R00 grant. The goal of this award is to further study the molecular mechanisms underlying retinal synapse formation and function which are critical for retinal visual processing and vision.