Earl L. Smith III, O.D., Ph.D., FAAO

Interim Chief Health Officer of the University of Houston
Greeman-Petty Professor

EMAIL: esmith@uh.edu
PHONE: 713-743-1899
ROOM #: 2103


Professor Smith received his OD (1972) and PhD (1978) from the University of Houston and subsequently joined the faculty of the UH College of Optometry. During his tenure in the College of Optometry, he has served as the Chair of the Basic Sciences Department and as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research. Professor Smith currently holds the Greeman-Petty Professorship in Vision Development and is serving as the Dean of the College of Optometry.

Professor Smith’s research interests are focused on the optics of the eye. He received the Glenn Fry Award (1996) and the Prentice Medal (2010) from the American Academy of Optometry for his research on the role of vision in regulating refractive development and eye growth. Professor Smith has published over 150 refereed papers and received 29 years of research funding from the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Eye Institute (NEI). He is also an accomplished lecturer, having received teaching awards at the department, college and university level and in 2003 was selected by the Texas Optometric Association as its Educator of the Year.

Professor Smith is an active member of the vision science community. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, an ARVO Fellow (inaugural class), a past President of the American Optometric Foundation (2002), a past Member and Chair of NIH NEI’s Central Visual Processing Study Section (1998-2003) and a past member of NIH’s National Advisory Eye Council (2005-2008). Professor Smith currently serves on the Board of Directors of Prevent Blindness Texas, as the Secretary of the Partnership Foundation for Optometric Education, and as the Past-President of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

Research Interests

Myopia, Visual Optics, Amblyopia, binocular vision, psychophysical and neurophysiological effects of abnormal visual experience.