Andrew D. Pucker headshot.

Assistant Professor

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Office location: HPB 527

Schedule a UAB Eye Care Appointment: (205) 975-2020

Teaching/research interests: Contact lenses, dry eye, and myopia

Office hours: By appointment

Education:  

  • BS, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Cellular & Molecular Biology
  • OD, The Ohio State University
  • MS, The Ohio State University, Vision Science
  • PhD, The Ohio State University, Vision Science

Dr. Pucker earned his OD, MS, and PhD degrees from The Ohio State University, and he is currently an Assistant Professor and Chief of the Myopia Control Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Pucker has been the Principal Investigator of a National Eye Institute funded project related to myopia development, and he manages other projects related to contact lenses, dry eye, and refractive error development. Dr. Pucker is a Contributing Editor for Contact Lens Spectrum. He is a Fellow and Diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry, and he is a Fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society. Dr. Pucker has also received a number of others honors, which include winning two William C. Ezell Fellowships, winning the Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award, receiving the Association of Schools & Colleges of Optometry’s Rising Star Award, and being named as an Emerging Vision Scientist by the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research. During his free time, he enjoys traveling, home brewing, and spending time with his family.

Download CV

Research interests:

The Pucker Laboratory is a translational science laboratory (mixture of basic and clinical research studies) that is interested in a range of Optometry and Vision Science topics, which include dry eye, contact lenses, and myopia management. Myopia (nearsightedness) is a multi-faceted disorder that can be attributed to a number of environmental and biological elements. Contact lenses are a primary means for correcting myopia and other refractive errors. Recent research even suggests that contact lenses have the potential to slow the progression of myopia. While there are over 140 million contact lens wearers in the United States alone, some patients are forced to decrease their wear times or permanently discontinue contact lens use because their eyes become too uncomfortable while wearing contact lenses.

Dr. Pucker’s Laboratory believes that meibomian gland (eyelid glands that primarily produce lipids) dysfunction is a primary source of this contact lens discomfort and contact lens dropout. Therefore, the primary goals of Dr. Pucker’s laboratory are to:

  1. understand how altered meibomian morphology is associated with contact lens discomfort,
  2. understand how altered meibomian gland secretions are associated with eye discomfort,
  3. develop alternatives for keeping patients in contact lenses for more years, and
  4. investigate methods for preventing myopia development and the need for contact lenses or spectacles in the first place.

Recent courses taught:

  • Clinic Chief - Myopia Control and Specialty Contact Lens Clinic: Clinic 335
  • Course Master - Ocular Microbiology and Immunology: Optometry 228
  • Guest Lecturer - Basic Science and Clinical Optometry: Optometry & Vision Science 111
  • Clinical Attending - Cornea and Contact Lens Clinic: Clinic 412

Select publications:

Selected Contact Lens & Dry Eye Publications

  • Pucker AD, Jones-Jordan LA, Marx S, Powell DR, Kwan JT, Srinivasan S, Sickenberger W, Jones L. Clinical Factors Associated with Contact Lens Dropout. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2019; 42:318-324.
  • Pucker AD, Bickle KM, Jones-Jordan LA, Ticak A, Kwan JT, Kuhn J, Mathew J, Kunnen CM. Assessment of a Practitioner’s Perception of Scleral Contact Lens Complications. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2019; 42:15-19.
  • Pucker AD, Dougherty BE, Jones-Jordan LA, Kwan JT, Kunnen CM, Srinivasan S. Psychometric Analysis of the SPEED Questionnaire and CLDEQ-8. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018; 59:3307-3313.
  • Pucker AD, Jones-Jordan LA, Li W, Kwan JT, Lin MC, Sickenberger W, Marx S, Srinivasan S, Jones L. Associations with Meibomian Gland Atrophy in Daily Contact Lens Wearers. Optom Vis Sci. 2015 (Feature Issue on Dry Eye Disease); 92: e206-213.
  • Pucker AD, Nichols JJ. Analysis of Meibum and Tear Lipids: Review. Ocul Surf. 2012; 10:230-50.
  • Pucker AD, Thangavelu M, Nichols JJ. Enzymatic Quantification of Cholesterol and Cholesterol Esters from Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010; 51:2949-2954.

Selected Myopia Publications

  • Pucker AD, Jackson AR, Morris HJ, Fischer AJ, McHugh KM, Mutti DO. Ciliary Muscle Cell Changes During Guinea Pig Development. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015; 56:7691-7696.
  • Pucker AD, Carpenter AR, McHugh KM, Mutti DO. Ciliary Muscle Development in Guinea Pigs. Optom Vis Sci. 2014; 91:730-739.
  • Pucker AD, Sinnott LT, Kao CY, Bailey MD. Region-Specific Relationships Between Refractive Error and Ciliary Muscle Thickness in Children. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013; 54:4710-4716.

Full Peer-Reviewed Publication List

If you are a clinician, in what UAB Eye Care clinic do you provide care?

Clinic Chief - Myopia Control and Specialty Contact Lens Clinic: Clinic 335

Clinical Attending - Cornea and Contact Lens Clinic: Clinic 412

Clinical specialties/areas of expertise:

Dr. Pucker’s clinical interests are closely related to his research interests. Dr. Pucker specifically draws upon his clinical expertise in treating myopia development, contact lens discomfort, and ocular surface disease to inspire innovative research plans while at the same time using empirically based knowledge learned during his research endeavors to better serve his patients. This philosophy is highlighted by Dr. Pucker’s use of his background in myopia research to help open the Myopia Control and Specialty Contact Lens Clinic at UAB, a clinic that prescribes multifocal contact lenses, orthokeratology lenses, and low dose atropine to patients who are developing myopia with the hopes that these experimental treatments will reduce the patients’ overall final degree of myopia. Serving as Chief of this specialty clinic, Dr. Pucker administers care to myopic subjects with the aid of student doctors on a weekly basis. Dr. Pucker also uses this background to prescribed specialty soft and rigid contact lenses in the Cornea and Contact Lens Clinic.

Academic distinctions and professional societies:  

Honors

  • 2002 Outstanding Student Achievement in Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac
  • 2008 – 2011 Member, Beta Sigma Kappa International Honor Society
  • 2010 Carl Zeiss Vision Fellowship, American Optometric Foundation
  • 2011 Fellow, American Academy of Optometry
  • 2011 – 2012 Arene T. Wray Fellowship, The Ohio State University
  • 2011 – 2012 William C. Ezell Fellowship, American Optometric Foundation
  • 2011 Vincent J. Ellerbrock Memorial Award, The Ohio State University
  • 2011 Outstanding Professional Student Award, The Ohio State University
  • 2012 – 2018 Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health
  • 2012 – 2013 William C. Ezell Fellowship, American Optometric Foundation
  • 2013 – 2014 Fellowship, Ohio Lions Eye Research Foundation
  • 2013 – 2014 Arene T. Wray Fellowship, The Ohio State University
  • 2016 Emerging Vision Scientist, Alliance for Eye and Vision Research
  • 2018 Rising Star Award, Associations of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
  • 2019 Fellow, Scleral Lens Education Society
  • 2019 Center for Teaching and Learning Teaching Certificate (Level 2, Platinum Certificate), University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • 2019 Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award, American Academy of Optometry
  • 2019 Peter-Abel Prize, Association of German Contact Lenses-Specialists and Optometrists
  • 2019 Diplomate, American Academy of Optometry

Professional affiliations/organizations

  • Alabama Optometric Association
  • Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • American Academy of Optometry
  • American Optometric Association

UAB/Area student groups you participate in:

  • Member, Student Volunteers for Optometric Service to Humanity, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Faculty Advisor, American Academy of Optometry Student Chapter, University of Alabama at Birmingham

If you are a clinician, in what UAB Eye Care clinic do you provide care?

  • Clinic Chief - Myopia Control and Specialty Contact Lens Clinic: Clinic 335
  • Clinical Attending - Cornea and Contact Lens Clinic: Clinic 412