The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System approved the appointment of Narayana Sthanam, PhD, as Professor Emeritus in the Department of Optometry and Vision Science.

Sthanam retired last year after serving 33 years at UAB, including 25 years in the UAB School of Optometry from 1993-2018.

"I am humbled and honored by this emeritus appointment,” Sthanam said. “It is all the more pleasant to be recognized by UABSO/UAB colleagues worthy of this appointment as I was a bit apprehensive of missing my fellow researches and teachers upon retirement.

“Structural biology is my love and passion, and more than half of my life I have spent pursuing my chosen field of research at UAB with the support and nurturing environment of the School of Optometry. Now I’m happy to say, I can still stay connected with the Structural Biology and UABSO."

During his tenure, Sthanam maintained continuous research funding for 29 years—one National Institutes of Health (NIH) R29, four NIH R01s, three NIH R01 subcontracts and industry funding including 27 years of continuous NIH funding—allowing the School of Optometry to grow a significant reputation for research.

While not a vision scientist or optometrist, Sthanam’s contributions to the school through his work in crystallography contributed to the optometry research portfolio. Additionally, he made significant contributions in teaching not only graduate students but also to UAB undergraduate students of various academic tracks and students coming from local high schools. Most of them are in health care professions, making significant contributions to medical research and people's wellbeing.

He has contributed to the scientific community significantly by having published 91 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including 8 book chapters, 43 published abstracts, more than 4000 citations, and 66 invited lectures, which include podium presentations at scientific conferences.

“The impact of Dr. Sthanam’s career both in academia and within the science industry has been great,” said UAB School of Optometry Dean Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO. “Our school has been fortunate to have someone of his caliber, and I am beyond thrilled to see him receive such an esteemed honor that has been earned and is well deserved.”