Kelly Nichols Bio

October 14, 2020

Dr. Kelly K. Nichols

Kelly K. Nichols received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of California at Berkeley, completed a residency in ocular disease at Omni Eye Specialists of Colorado, and earned her MPH in biostatistics and PhD in vision science at Ohio State University.

In 2014, Dr. Nichols was named Dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. Prior to that appointment, Dr. Nichols was a professor at the University of Houston, College of Optometry, where she co-founded and served as Executive Director for the Ocular Surface Institute, a translational research institute focused on bench-to-bedside research on ocular surface conditions.

Earlier, Dr. Nichols was faculty at the Ohio State University College of Optometry. She currently serves as a medical adviser to the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation, is an executive board member for the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society, and a founding member of Ocular Surface Society of Optometry.

A leading expert in dry eye disease, Dr. Nichols is or has been on the editorial boards of the journals Optometry and Vision Science and The Ocular Surface, and is extensively published. Her research interests encompass meibomian gland dysfunction, dry eye in menopause, dry eye diagnostics and therapeutics, and tear proteomics and lipidomics. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved lifitegrast, a new eye drop for treating signs and symptoms of dry eye in adult patients. Dr. Nichols conducted research studies for the parent drug company to explore the efficacy and safety of lifitegrast in treating this eye condition that affects more than 16 million adults in the United States.