Dr. Maria K. Walker, OD MS attended The New England College of Optometry in Boston, MA, where she earned her Doctor of Optometry and Master of Vision Science degrees concurrently in 2013. She went on to complete a Residency in Cornea & Contact Lenses at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. Dr. Walker was the recipient of several awards throughout her education, including the Vision Care Scholarship for Clinical Excellence, the AOF Award for Excellence in Contact Lenses, and the Sheldon Wechsler Contact Lens Residency Award.
In the fall of 2014, Dr. Walker joined the faculty at UHCO as a Visiting Assistant Professor, working as an attending clinician as well as on various research initiatives within the Contact Lens Department. She also lectures in the third year Contact Lens Course, and is an instructor for the course’s laboratory component.
Dr. Walker’s major research interests include anterior segment physiology, scleral contact lens complications, and contact lens optics - specifically for presbyopia and myopia control modalities. She is currently an investigator in the Bifocal Lenses in Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) study, examining the effects of soft bifocal contact lenses in controlling childhood progression of myopia.
Dr. Wallace-Tucker received her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida in 2006 and her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO) in 2010. She subsequently completed a residency in cornea and contact lens at UHCO. Dr. Wallace Tucker is a Visiting Assistant Professor at UHCO, where her clinical practices include the Cornea and Contact Lens Service and Family Practice Service. As a Therapeutic Doctor of Optometry, she is licensed to diagnose and treat ocular disease and is certified by the Texas Optometry Board to practice as a Glaucoma Specialist. Dr. Wallace-Tucker is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.
Dr. Wallace-Tucker’s clinical and research interests include specialty contact lens fitting and the treatment and diagnosis of anterior segment disease.
I was born and raised in Ann Arbor Michigan. After graduation from high school I attended the University of Michigan majoring mechanical engineering. Three years of that convinced me that I needed to rethink my educational goals. After 3 years in the Army I returned to Michigan and enrolled at Michigan State University in Psychology where, in a period of 5 years, I obtained a B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. in experimental Psychology. After graduation I joined the faculty of the Massachusetts College of Optometry where I taught Vision Science and began my career in clinical electrophysiology. While on the faculty I entered the accelerated clinical program for students with a Ph.D. degree and was granted the OD Degree after 2 years of study. One year later I came to the University of Houston and joined the Optometry College faculty. Over the years my interests have shifted from vision science to retinal pathology. I am presently the director of the Ocular Diagnostic Service and teach retinal pathology in the third year of the professional program.
My Clinical interests center largely on the retina and the optic nerve. The University Eye Institute, Ocular Diagnostic Service is one of the finest equipped facilities of its type in the world. I routinely use the full range of the classical electrical physiological tests (VEP, ERG & EOG) along with visual field testing, ultrasound, and the major scanning laser devices to diagnosis retinal and or optic nerve disease.
Dr. Wang is the current Low Vision Rehabilitation resident at the University of Houston College of Optometry. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry and is a native Californian. She loves walking along the beach, watching Broadway musicals, and hitting the snooze button. She is excited to be in Houston and pursue her passion for low vision.
Janice Wensveen received her Doctor of Optometry from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry, Canada, and her Ph.D. in Physiological Optics from the University of Houston College of Optometry. Dr. Wensveen is currently Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Houston where she teaches binocular vision in class, lab, and in the clinic. Her research interests center on compromised binocular function resulting from early image degradation and strabismus.
My long-term research goals are to understand the mechanisms and principles that govern visual development, to explain how early abnormal visual experience (e.g., due to form deprivation or strabismus) can result in amblyopia and/or anomalous binocular vision and thereby, to design better interventions to preserve normal monocular and binocular vision (e.g., for infants with unilateral cataract or strabismus). My current project focuses on how the effects of normal and abnormal visual experience are integrated over time during the critical period. Recently, we have found that daily short periods of normal vision can rescue infant monkeys from the severe amblyogenic effects of much longer periods of form deprivation, and can preserve stereopsis in monkeys reared with much longer periods of optical strabismus. In addition I am developing a model of the susceptibility of stereopsis to infantile esotropia to determine whether the duration of strabismus or age at alignment influences stereopsis to a greater degree. Taken together, this work will provide a clearer understanding of the relative influences of normal vs. abnormal binocular visual experience on visual development and help to guide clinicians in managing cases where there is some impediment to normal binocular vision.
Dr. Wensveen's clinical interests include anomalies of vergence and accommodation that compromise efficient binocular vision. She works with patients to help them overcome binocular vision anomalies in the FAMILY PRACTICE VISION THERAPY SERVICE. Her secondary interest is in contact lenses.
Joe Wheat received his bachelor’s degree in biology from The University of Texas at Austin followed by his Doctor of Optometry from The University of Houston College of Optometry. He completed an optometric residency at the Baltimore VAMC, and returned to the University of Houston College of Optometry to complete a PhD. Prior to his return to UHCO in 2017, he worked at the Michael E. DeBakey VAMC, where he was in charge of the optometric residency program. Past honors include the William C. Ezell fellowship award, the Institutional Ruth Kirschstein National Research Post-Doctorate Award, and the NIH Mentored Clinician K award. He is currently a member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society.
Structure-function relationships in glaucoma, imaging techniques of the optic nerve, retina, and choroid
After receiving her Doctor of Optometry degree at the University of California Berkeley, Dr. Wickum completed a residency in Pediatric Optometry at the University of Houston, College of Optometry (UHCO). She is currently a Clinical Associate Professor at UHCO where her clinical practice and teaching focus on pediatrics, binocular vision, and brain injury vision assessment and rehabilitation (neuro-optometric rehabilitation). Dr. Wickum is the Director of Vision Rehabilitation Services provided at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital) and serves as the Director of the Brain Injury Vision Assessment & Rehabilitation Service at the University Eye Institute. She is the Director of both the Pediatric Optometry Residency and the Brain Injury Vision Assessment & Rehabilitation Residency at UHCO. Dr. Wickum teaches in both didactic and clinical settings at UHCO as well as lectures at continuing education programs nationally and internationally. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a member of the American Optometric Association, served on the AOA Journal Review Board, and is a member of the editorial review board for the Journal of Optometric Education. In addition, Dr. Wickum is a subject matter expert for the DoD/VA Vision Center of Excellence in the area of brain injury vision deficits and rehabilitation. Dr. Wickum received the TIRR/Memorial Hermann Outstanding Consultant of the Year Award for 2007 as well as the UHCO Cora & J. Davis Armistead Teaching Award in 2008.
CLEERE (Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error) Vision deficits related to concussion, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Pediatric optometry, vision care of children with special needs, binocular vision deficits, strabismus, amblyopia, and vision assessment and rehabilitation of brain injury patients (neuro-optometric rehabilitation).