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Katherine K. Weise headshot.


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HPB 506

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

Dr. Kathy Weise is from Denver, Iowa where her mom was a beloved first-grade teacher and her dad was a high school math teacher and hall-of-fame football coach. She attributes her love of helping children and athletes to her parents. From Denver, she went on to earn her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University, where she got inspired to pursue the profession of optometry after a visit with her uncle, Dr. Bob Niemann. She followed in his footsteps to the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, IL. Immediately after graduating from ICO in 1995, Dr. Weise began her residency in family practice with emphasis in pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She joined the UAB Optometry faculty the following year and became a Professor of Optometry in 2015. In 2004, Dr. Weise earned her MBA from the UAB School of Business and went on to help develop the nation’s first truly combined degree OD/MBA program in 2016.

Dr. Weise became the UAB Pediatric Optometry Service Director in 2004 following in the footsteps of lifelong mentor, Dr. Wendy Marsh-Tootle, and has since helped provide compassionate eye care for well over 50,000 children. Kathy has proudly supported the UAB School of Optometry’s relationship with Sight Savers since 1997.

Dr. Weise helped conduct the Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial, a 14-year, NIH-funded, randomized clinical trial that showed proof of concept that the growth of the human eye could be slowed with an optical intervention. Dr. Weise was most recently selected to co-chair the NIH-funded Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group’s currently recruiting study of myopia and low-dose atropine with Mike Repka, MD, MBA, with Johns Hopkins University. In 2019, she was selected to serve as PEDIG’s national vice chair under Sue Cotter, OD, MS, with Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B Ketchum University and Johnathan Holmes, MD, with the Mayo Clinic. PEDIG is a multi-center national network of pediatric ophthalmologists and pediatric optometrists who conduct randomized clinical trials in order to find new ways to improve vision in children.

Locally, Dr. Weise helped optometry, physical therapy, and pediatric neurosurgery earn the 2013 UAB HSF-GEF grant to study the vestibular ocular reflex in pediatric concussion. This helped her create the mTBEye Concussion Clinic in conjunction with Children’s of Alabama in 2014. Since then, Kathy has followed in her dad’s and her uncle’s footsteps by creating BlazerVision, a deliberately collaborative effort between optometry and ophthalmology to proudly support UAB athletes. She is often seen at UAB athletic events with her husband, Lance, and three children, Ella, Blake, and Luke shouting, “Go Blazers!”

Awards and Honors:

  • UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for the School of Optometry, June 2019
  • Sight Savers America Hall W. Thompson Hero for Sight Award to honor individuals or organizations whose impact on children’s eye care in the state of Alabama has been both lasting and profound, March 2019
  • Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group Vice Chair, January 2019 to present
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Healthcare Leadership Academy, October 2012 to May 2013
  • United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham’s Life Without Limits Outstanding Volunteer Award with UAB Eye Care, January 2010
  • Recipient, NIH Loan Repayment Program, August 2003 to 2007
  • Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry, 2000 to present
  • Clinical Instructor of the Year, UAB Optometry, 1996-1997
  • Gold Key International Optometric Honor Society, President
  • Tomb and Key National Optometric Honor Society
  • Beta Sigma Kappa National Optometric Honor Society
  • Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society
  • Mortar Board National Honor Society
  • Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society
  • Golden Key National Honor Society
  • Pediatric/Binocular Vision Award of Distinction, Illinois College of Optometry
  • Presidential Scholarship, Illinois College of Optometry
  • Pediatric Research Team Awards – UAB Pediatric Optometry Service
    • PEDIG Site of the Year, 2018
    • PEDIG Site of the Month: November 2018, March 2011, November 2008, November 2006
    • PEDIG Performance Award – Top recruiter, August 2007
    • PEDIG Performance Award, 2004
    • CITT – Clinical center with highest CITT Grade Point Average in Period 1 – June 2006