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by Satina Richardson

A gift from CooperVision will advance the study of myopia management and contact lenses at the UAB School of Optometry by endowing a faculty scholar position and providing scholarships to students earning OD/MS dual degrees or practicing optometrists pursuing doctorates in vision science. 

The CooperVision Endowed Scholar – Myopia Management and Contact Lenses endowment is the second faculty position of its kind in the School’s history. Research, scholarly and/or clinical efforts of a distinguished faculty member who specializes in myopia management and contact lenses will be supported.

The selected scholar will be empowered to explore topics such as the novel mechanism of myopia development, refractive error treatments, and anything related to contact lenses. There will also be the opportunity to collaborate with scholars and industry partners around the world.

“Because there is a small pool of experts, optometry faculty is in high demand across academia,” said Kelly Nichols, UAB School of Optometry dean. “The contribution from CooperVision better positions the School to recruit and retain top talent. Providing opportunities like this is one way to ensure that faculty remains at UAB, becoming integral parts of our research program while enriching the minds of our students.”

The remaining portion of CooperVision’s gift will fund research awards for students earning dual doctorate of optometry and masters in vision science degrees. Additionally, practicing optometrists pursuing a doctorate in vision science and conducting research in contact lenses and/or myopia management will be supported.  Students will be notified of how to apply for the research awards early in 2022.

“Our mission is to provide value to our constituents through excellent, effective, and efficient optometric and vision science education, research, service, and patient care programs,” Nichols said.  “These funds will allow us to live up to this mission.”