The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees has approved Kent Keyser, PhD, as professor emeritus in the Department of Optometry and Vision Science.

“I am truly honored to be named Emeritus Professor,” Keyser said. “Since coming to UAB in 1995, I have had the opportunity to serve the institution in many ways and have always done my best in these endeavors. UAB is a unique institution in that if a person has good ideas and energy, almost any goal can be realized. I never set out to win awards or honors, but simply to do the best job that I could. I am deeply grateful to UAB’s leadership and to my colleagues all over campus for their friendship and support over the years.”

Keyser joined UAB in 1996 as an associate professor in the School of Optometry's Department of Physiological Optics with a second appointment in the Department of Neurobiology. In 1998, he founded the High Resolution Imaging Facility that provided investigators across campus with access to sophisticated instruments for studying cells and tissues. He was appointed as Director of the NEI-supported Vision Science Research Center and served in that capacity until 2013. He was promoted in 2000 to a professor and was honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001. In 2013, he was given the designation of University Professor, a status that has been awarded by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees to only 16 faculty members in UAB’s history.

From 2013 to 2021, he served as the Associate Vice President for Research at UAB. Among Dr. Keyser’s many contributions to the university was developing a plan for supporting critical University Core Facilities in 2015 and he co-developed a plan to ensure that the Responsible Conduct of Research training is available to all postdoctoral trainees, graduate students and undergraduate students engaged in mentored research.

He has served on  several committees including the School of Optometry Executive Committee, Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) Executive Council, UAB Committee on Postdoctoral Education, UAB Graduate School Advisory Committee, Minority Health and Research Center Internal Review Board, Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease Executive Committee, Hepatorenal Fibrocystic Disease Core Center Scientific Advisory Committee, Epitope Recognition and Immunoreagent Core Scientific Advisory Committee and the UAB Faculty Senate.

Additionally, he has chaired several vital committees including UAB Research Advisory Group and the Council of Center Directors.

“He has contributed greatly to the history of excellence in research at the UAB School of Optometry,” said UABSO Dean Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO. “To bestow this honor on Dr. Keyser is a fitting tribute to an individual who has tirelessly given himself to advance the profession of optometry and vision science and to strengthen the broad reputation of UAB.”