The Texas Optometric Association (TOA) is proud to announce the 2019 TOA Award Winners. Of the seven awards, four are UHCO alum. Congratulations to; Jenny Terrell Feenstra, OD, '03; Eric Ketchum, OD, '11; Matt Valdes, OD, '11; and Heidi Sticksel-Hawkins, OD, '98!
UHCO's Erin Tomiyama, OD, and Kathryn Richdale, OD, PhD, were recently featured in an article for Review of Optometry. Their article is titled, How Environment and Genetics Give Rise to Myopia. To read full piece click here.
UHCO hosted the 2019 UHCO Research Showcase this past Friday, January 25th. The goal of this poster session is to highlight and increase awareness of the research and clinical case reports conducted by graduate students, optometry summer research students, postdocs, research assistants/associates, residents and fellows associated with UHCO. In addition, it is an opportunity for research groups at UH, outside of UHCO, to participate in an on-campus poster event dedicated to vision research.
The Myopia Management Service at University of Houston- University Eye Institute was recently featured in a UH Moment segment. This service provides advanced, evidence-based optical treatments for children who became nearsighted before age 10 and/or are progressing myopes. Children typically become myopic in their early school years and experience increases in their prescription until they reach early adulthood. It is during this time of rapid myopic progression that treatments offered by the Myopia Management Service will have the maximum impact.
Michael D. Twa, OD, PHD, FAAO, has been selected for the position of Dean at UHCO. Dr. Twa joins the College from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he serves as associate dean for research and graduate studies for the School of Optometry. Dr. Twa is expected to begin his duties on June 1, 2019. Welcome, Dr. Twa!
Former Louisiana state senator, David Heitmeier, OD., '87 has pledged his support to the Earl L. Smith, III, Professorship with a $10,000 gift to UHCO’s foundation, the Foundation for Education and Research in Vision (FERV).
“Earl has transformed UHCO over the last several years and I am more than happy to support a Professorship that carries his name,” Dr. Heitmeier said.
FERV launched the Earl L. Smith Professorship in 2018 to honor Dean Smith for his exemplary service to the college and optometry. Once fully endowed the Professorship will attract, promote, and retain high caliber faculty interested in pursuing research at UHCO.
The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), an affiliate of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), and VSP Global announced the recipients of this year’s Practice Excellence Scholarships. Congratulations to UHCO’s own Rami Aboumourad, OPT IV, and Kristen Watt, OPT IV. Nearly $200,000 will be distributed amongst top-performing fourth-year optometry students in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Two students from each school or college of optometry were selected by nomination of their individual institutions to receive the scholarship.
Vivien Coulson-Thomas, PhD, UHCO Assistant Professor, recently received a $1.9M grant from the National Eye Institute. Her research will look at how the hyaluronan creates limbal stem cells and whether you can take a cell, put it on a hyaluronan layer, or substrate, and create new stem cells in the lab. This revolutionizing research will hopefully improve the lives of patients with limbal stem cell deficiency.
UHCO has become the first optometry school in the nation to use the Anatomage Table, a 3D anatomy table that uses digital cadavers to teach anatomy, solely for the optometry program. The world’s first virtual dissection table allows users to visualize anatomy as they would on a human cadaver.