Maria Walker, O.D., Ph.D., FAAOAssistant Professor
Maria K Walker, OD, PhD is a clinician scientist who specializes in anterior segment inflammatory diseases and specialty contact lenses. She graduated with an OD/MS degree from The New England College of Optometry (NECO) in 2013 and went on to complete a one-year Cornea & Contact Lens Residency at Pacific University in Portland, OR. She came to UHCO as an Assistant Professor in 2014 and in 2021 completed a PhD in Physiological Optics with a dissertation entitled: “The Impact of a Scleral Lens on the Eye”. Throughout her education and early career, Maria has won several merit-based awards including the VSP student clinical excellent award (2013), the Sheldon Wechsler contact lens residency award (2014), the Founders’ Grant from the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists (2017), as well as two Ezell fellowships in 2017 and 2018 and the Minnie Turner Award for Vision Researchers in 2019. She is an active Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry, a Fellow and a Past President of the Scleral Lens Education Society, as well as an advisory board member of the Gas Permeable Lens Institute. Maria is currently a tenure-tracked Assistant Professor at UHCO, and the Walker lab is focused on studying the role of immune cells in inflammatory diseases of the cornea and tear film (i.e., keratoconus), as well as the impact of a scleral lens on the eye in diseased and normal eyes.