Timothy Kraft

Dr. Timothy Kraft has been named the first Chair of the School of Optometry’s Department of Optometry and Vision Science.

Dr. Kraft began his career at UAB in 1993 as an Assistant Professor with the Department of Ophthalmology in the School of Medicine. Dr. Kraft joined the School of Optometry faculty in 2000 and is currently a Professor, with additional appointments in the Department of Neurobiology and the Vision Science Research Center.Through his association with Ophthalmology at both UCSF and UAB, Dr. Kraft was led to incorporate the pathologies of photoreceptor degeneration and acquired color vision losses into his studies of the physiology of retinal signal processing. Dr. Kraft’s research has also included the first electrophysiologic recordings from individual human rod and cone photoreceptors.Dr. Kraft received his B.S. in Life Sciences (’79) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Physiology (’85) from the University of Minnesota. He completed postdoctoral research in the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University (’88), and then the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of California at San Francisco (’92), where he studied the neurobiology of color vision in primate retinal tissue.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Kraft contributed service to numerous University committees and professional societies and organizations. Widely published and regarded as an expert in retinal physiology, Dr. Kraft has been selected for regular membership on the NIH study section for Biology of Visual System, and also serves as a reviewer for Moorfields Eye Charity Grant, (Moorfields Eye Hospital, UK). He has served on numerous NIH special emphasis panels, as a session moderator for XVI Symposium on Retinal Degeneration, and as an invited reviewer for 15 national and international scientific journals.

In 2014, Dr. Kraft received the Teaching Excellence in Basic Science Instruction award from UABSO’s chapter of the American Optometric Student Association. He was the 2009 recipient of the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for the School of Optometry. Dr. Kraft is a well-respected mentor of many vision science and neurobiology graduate students.

“Dr. Kraft’s career is marked by his research expertise, excellence in teaching, and dedication to the fields of optometry and vision science,” says Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, Dean, UAB School of Optometry. “These attributes, combined with his sincere commitment to the success of our School of Optometry students, position him to be a tremendous leader for the School, the University, and our profession.”

“I look forward to promoting a collaborative teaching and research atmosphere here at UABSO,” Kraft said. “Basically, I’m going to try not to get in the way of the brilliant work that this talented group of people is trying to accomplish.”