Alumni, CE & Donors | Distinguished Alumnus Awards

For Sustained and Outstanding Service to the Profession and College of Optometry

The 2017 Recipient

Michael Kalloniatis, BSc, MSc, PhD

Class of 1988

Michael Kalloniatis, BSc, MSc, PhD

Class of 1988

Michael Kalloniatis, BSc (Optom), MSc (Optom), PhD, '88, received the 2017 Alumnus of the Year of Award for the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO). Born in Greece, Michael Kalloniatis migrated to Melbourne with his family in 1965. Upon completion of his optometry degree at the University of Melbourne in 1981, he continued his studies with a Master's degree evaluating the visual characteristics of low vision children. Kalloniatis then undertook his PhD at UHCO, studying color vision processing in the monkey visual system. After receiving his doctorate he remained in the US, accepting an appointment as a National Institute of Health Research Fellow at the University of Texas. With expertise in retinal anatomy and neurochemistry, Kalloniatis is a highly experienced optometrist with a range of academic and research experience who has maintained clinical practice throughout his career. Both Kalloniatis' parents have experienced vision loss at the hands of eye disease, so his passion to prevent blindness through early diagnosis is augmented by personal first-hand understanding of the social impacts of vision loss. With his interest in retinal neurochemistry and anatomy, he received a post-doctoral award to study retinal circuitry. In 2001 he was appointed the Robert G Leitl Chair and Head of the Department of Optometry and Vision Science (DOVS) at the University of Auckland. In collaboration with the Department of Ophthalmology, Kalloniatis was also instrumental in setting up the New Zealand National Eye Centre, which opened 2008 and in May 2009 he became Director for the Centre for Eye Health.

Past Recipients