Kelly K. Nichols headshot.

Dean

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(205) 975-9935
Office location: HPB, Dean Suite room 121A

Teaching/research interests: Dry Eye Disease

Office hours: 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.

Education:   

  • OD, MPH, PhD, F.A.A.O.

Kelly K. Nichols received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of California at Berkeley, completed a residency in ocular disease at Omni Eye Specialists of Colorado, and earned her MPH in biostatistics and PhD in vision science at Ohio State University. In 2014, Dr. Nichols was named Dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. Prior to that appointment, Dr. Nichols was a professor at the University of Houston, College of Optometry, where she co-founded and served as Executive Director for the Ocular Surface Institute, a translational research institute focused on bench-to-bedside research on ocular surface conditions. Earlier, Dr. Nichols was faculty at the Ohio State University College of Optometry. She currently serves as a medical adviser to the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation, has served extensively on the executive board and for the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society and on each of the steering committees (DEWS, DEWS II, Contact Lens Discomfort, and MGD workshops), and is a founding member of Ocular Surface Society of Optometry. A leading expert in dry eye disease, Dr. Nichols is or has been on the editorial boards of the journals Optometry and Vision Science, and The Ocular Surface, and is extensively published.

Research Interests: Dr. Nichols research interests encompass meibomian gland dysfunction, dry eye in menopause, dry eye diagnostics and therapeutics, and tear proteomics and lipidomics, and women's health.

Select publications:

Peer-reviewed papers with significant impact:

  • Nichols KK, Nichols JJ, Mitchell GL. The lack of association between signs and symptoms in patients with dry eye disease. Cornea. 2004 Nov;23(8):762-70. PMID: 15502475 Citations n=351, Scopus access 11-08-17)
  • Nichols KK, Foulks GN, Bron AJ, Glasgow BJ, Dogru M, Tsubota K, Lemp MA, Sullivan DA. The international workshop on meibomian gland dysfunction: executive summary. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Mar 30;52(4):1922-9. PMCID: PMC3072157 Citations n=235, Scopus access 11-08-17)
  • [No authors, Nichols KK, sub-committee member]. The epidemiology of dry eye disease: report of the Epidemiology Subcommittee of the International Dry Eye WorkShop (2007). Ocul Surf. 2007 Apr;5(2):93-107. PMCID: PMC17508117 Citations n=564, Scopus access 11-08-17)
  • Chen J, Green-Church KB, Nichols KK. Shotgun lipidomic analysis of human meibomian gland secretions with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Dec;51(12):6220-31. PMCID: PMC3055753 Citations n=58, Scopus access 11-08-17)

Peer reviewed papers furthering the understanding of the lipidomics of the tear film and meibum in humans.

  • Nichols KK, Ham BM, Nichols JJ, Green-Church KB. Identification of fatty acids and fatty acid amides in human meibomian gland secretions. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2007; 48:34-39. PMID: 17197513.
  • Chen J, Green-Church KB, Nichols KK. Shotgun lipidomic analysis of human meibomian gland secretions with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2010; 51: 6220-31. PMCID: PMC3055753.
  • Chen J, Green KB, Nichols KK. Quantitative profiling of major neutral lipid classes in human meibum by direct infusion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2013; 54: 5730-53. PMCID: PMC3753034.
  • Chen J, Green KB, Nichols KK. Characterization of wax esters by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry: double bond effect and unusual product ions. Lipids 2015; 50:821-36. PMID: 26178197.
  • Chen J., Green KB, Nichols KK. Compositional Analysis of Wax Esters in Human Meibomian Gland Secretions by Direct Infusion Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry". Lipids (0024-4201), 51:1269-87. PMCID: PMC3753034.

Peer reviewed papers aiding in the understanding the epidemiology of symptoms and diagnostic tests in dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction.

  • Nichols KK, Nichols JJ, Mitchell GL. The lack of association between signs and symptoms in patients with dry eye disease. Cornea 2004;23:762-70. PMID: 15502475.
  • Nichols KK, Mitchell GL, Zadnik K. The repeatability of clinical measurements of dry eye. Cornea. 2004;23:272-85. PMID: 15084861.
  • Bron AJ, Tomlinson A, Foulks GN, Pepose JS, Baudouin C, Geerling G, Nichols KK, Lemp MA. Rethinking dry eye disease: a perspective on clinical implications. Ocul Surf 2014;12:S1-31. PMID: 24725379
  • Schaumberg DA, Nichols JJ, Papas E, Tong L, Uchino M, Nichols KK. Meibomian gland dysfunction workshop: Report of the subcommittee on the epidemiology of, and associated risk factors for, MGD. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2011;52:1994-2005. PMCID: PMC3072161.
  • Peer reviewed papers highlighting novel approaches to quantitative biomarkers in dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction.
  • King-Smith PE, Nichols JJ, Braun RJ, Nichols KK. High resolution microscopy of the lipid layer of the tear film. Ocul Surf 2011;9:197-211. PMCID: PMC4313928.
  • Nichols JJ, King-Smith PE, Hinel E, Thangavelu M, Nichols KK. The use of fluorescent quenching in studying the contribution of evaporation to tear thinning. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012;53:5426- 5432. PMCID: PMC3423665.
  • Powell DR, Nichols JJ, Nichols KK. Inter-examiner reliability in Meibomian gland dysfunction assessment. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012;53:3120-3125. PMCID: PMC3383184.
  • Srinivasan S, Thangavelu M, Zhang L, Green KB, Nichols KK. iTRAQ Quantitative Proteomics in the Analysis of Tears in Dry Eye Patients. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012;53: 5052-5059. PMCID: PMC3410666.

Recent abstracts:

  • Ziemanski JF, Chen J, Nichols KK. Evaluation of trypsin-free collection techniques to optimize lipidomic analysis of immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells in culture. AAO 2017, Optom Vis Sci.
  • Postnikoff CK, Nichols KK. Ocular Surface Homeostatic Surveillance by Th17 Cells in the Closed Eye. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 3885. doi: 2016 ARVO meeting.
  • Jianzhong C, Nichols KK. Composition of Diesters in Human Meibum. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 4818. doi: 2016 ARVO meeting.
  • Baudouin C, Darvish-Zargar M, Holland J, Chan CC, Nichols KK et al. Lifitegrast Ophthalmic Solution 5.0% for Treatment of Dry Eye Disease: Combined Evidence From 5 Randomized Controlled Trials, 8th International Conference on the Tear Film & Ocular Surface; September 7-10 2016;Montpellier, France.
  • Holland EJ, Luchs J, Karpecki PM, Nichols KK, et al, Lifitegrast for the Treatment of Dry Eye Disease: Results of a Phase III, Randomized, Double-Masked, Placebo-Controlled Trial (OPUS-3). Ophthalmology. 2017 Jan;124(1):53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.09.025. Epub 2016 Oct 27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.09.025 PIMD 28079022
  • Jianzhong C, Nichols KK. Characterizing Human Meibum by Shotgun Lipidomics, MS/MS and Successive Polarity Switching. Presented at the ASMS 65th Annual Meeting; June 4-8, 201; Indianapolis, IN
  • Holland EJ, Nichols KK, Tauber J, Baudouin, C, Raychaudhuri A, Roy M, Shojaei A, "Overview of clinical efficacy and safety of lifitegrast ophthalmic solution 5.0% for treatment of dry eye disease" COS Annual meeting, Montreal, Quebec, June 2017. Abstract (paper)
  • Baidpiom C, Darvish-Azrgar M, Holland J, Chan CC, Nichols KK, Tauber J, Raychaudhuri A, Roy M, Shojaei A, Lifitegrast Ophthalmic Solution 5.0% for Treatment of Dry Eye Disease: Combined Evidence From 5 Randomized Controlled Trials, EULAR 2017 Congress, Madrid Spain, June 2017.
  • Holland EJ, Nichols KK, Tauber J, Baudouin, C, Raychaudhuri A, Roy M, Shojaei A, et al. "Lifitegrast ophthalmic solution 5.0% for dry eye disease: combined evidence from 4 12-week randomized controlled trials"Pan-American Congress of Ophtalmology. Lima, Peru; 2017

Clinical specialties/areas of expertise: Dry Eye Disease

Academic distinctions and professional societies:  

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

UAB/Area student groups you participate in:

AAO, NOSA, AOSA, BSK

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

  • UABSO EyeCare Clinic