By Satina Richardson

During the 2020 Eye Center South Eye Education Foundation symposium, the inaugural Dr. CD Denney Memorial Award was presented to Dean Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO.

by Satina Richardson

Juan “Jenny” Huang, PhD, OD, MPH, has joined the UAB School of Optometry as an assistant professor, tenure track.  She comes to UAB from The Ohio State University College of Optometry where she was a research assistant professor.

Emeritus professor, Robert P. Rutstein, OD, MS, FAAO, was named the 21st Springer Award Honoree and presented the annual Springer Lecture on the topic of retinally induced aniseikonia, a binocular vision disorder.

By Tyra Rocker

At one time, extreme dry eye disease and blurred vision affected Laura Well’s quality of life. Now the UAB Eye Care patient has gotten relief with the help of scleral lenses.

In recognition of the year 2020 and the significance of 20/20 in the field of optometry, the UAB School of Optometry is recognizing alumni whose careers have impacted communities, set precedents or moved the profession forward in some way. With this in mind, meet Woody Thigpen, OD. Through his work in Cambodia, he has helped improve the vision of more than 28,000 Cambodians in various villages.

John Laurent, OD, PhD, FAAO, is an associate professor who specializes in contact lens fitting. He received his OD from Ohio State University along with his master’s degree in Vision Science. Laurent went on to earn his PhD in vision science with a research area of corneal psychology from UABSO. He has practiced in the US Navy and Army where he served 30 years. For four years, he worked as a research scientist for the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Lab and later served as the research director for the Navy Refractive Surgery Center. Laurent is a member of the Academic Optometric Association, International Society of Contact Lens Specialists, a Fellow of American Academy of Optometry and a Fellow of Scleral Lens Education Society.

By Tyra Rocker

Johndra McNeely, OD, has been named the 2019 Young Alumnus of the Year by the UAB School of Optometry Alumni Association. This is the inaugural year for the award.

By Tyra Rocker

Gerald Simon, OD, class of 1985, has received the Alumnus of the Year award presented by the UAB School of Optometry Alumni Association. The award was granted to those who have displayed great achievements in their community, profession and school.

By Tyra Rocker

For the fifth year, the UAB School of Optometry provided free comprehensive eye exams and glasses to nearly 200 Birmingham residents at the 2019 Gift of Sight event held at UAB Eye Care’s Western Health Center location, December 3-6.

By Satina Richardson

Robert Kleinstein, OD, MPH, PhD, retired UAB School of Optometry professor, received the Henry B. Peters Memorial Award from the American Academy of Optometry Foundation.

By Satina Richardson

Caroline Pate, OD, FAAO, associate professor and director of residency programs at the UAB School of Optometry, has been named the 2019 Optometric Educator of the Year by the Alabama Optometric Association (ALOA).

Andrew D. Pucker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FSLS, UAB School of Optometry assistant professor, recently earned his Diplomate in the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO).

By Rasika (Khatu) Whitesell, OD, Class of 2013

Currently, I am practicing in Wilmington, NC, with Myeyedr. I have two small boys, ages 2.5 years and 9 months old. Also, I recently completed the NC Optometry leadership program and served as secretary of my local optometry society in 2016-2017. I have loved getting involved with the leadership side of optometry and look forward to becoming more involved in the future.

I graduated from the UAB School of Optometry in 2013, but it seems like just yesterday that I was walking the halls of the Henry B. Peters Building cramming for my next exam. There are so many things I have learned after graduation that one cannot put into words until you experience it for yourself. I will be sharing some tips with you on what I have learned after graduation. 

An R01 grant awarded to Lei Liu, PhD, FAAO, UAB School of Optometry associate professor, by the National Eye Institute/National Institutes of Health, will study the use of virtual reality and intelligent tutoring to make low vision rehabilitation more accessible and affordable.

Adam Gordon, OD, MPH, FAAO, has been named the Department of Optometry and Vision Science Chair. He is the second person to hold the position, which is now appointed by the Dean after faculty input.

Dr. Rob Pate is the husband of Dana Pate and father of 5 kids, Claire, Ellie, Jenna, James and John. He practices optometry at Basden Eye Care in Auburn, AL. He is the Immediate Past President of the Alabama Optometric Association, Legislative Committee Co-chair, SECO Board of Trustees, Auburn Community Church Elder and UABSO Alumni Association Board of Directors. Dr. Pate also enjoys participating in Auburn athletics. He is the Auburn University Athletics Team Optometrist, Columnist and host a Radio Show discussing Auburn athletics. He is also a member of Auburn Football Lettermen Club Board of Directors, Auburn Parks and Recreation and Football Board of Directors.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry (UABSO) has launched a student exchange program with the University of South Wales School of Optometry and Vision Science (UNSW). Two UAB optometry students will have eight-week externships in the UNSW clinic, while four UNSW students will be hosted in four-week clinical rotations at UAB Eye Care, UABSO’s clinical arm.

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.

Marina Gorbatyuk, PhD, associate professor of vision science, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health $297,000 R21 grant to study an animal model for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and improve the sight of patients with the condition.

Amy Henderson, OD, and Brian Roberts, OD, have joined the UAB School of Optometry as assistant professors.