Rodney Nowakowski, O.D., Ph.D.
Director, Genetic Eye Disease Clinic
Dr. Nowakowski received the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Arts degrees, both in mathematics, from the University of Miami. He received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 1975 and a Ph.D. in Medical Genetics in 1989, also from UAB. Following nearly 40 years of faculty service at UAB, Dr. Nowakowski retired in 2014 as Dean of UAB School of Optometry. He continues to serve as the only Optometrist on the National Eye Institute’s National Ophthalmic Disease Genotyping and Phenotyping Network (eyeGENE) Steering Committee.
He has published numerous scientific articles in the areas of medical genetics and optometry and has given lectures on low vision rehabilitation, electrodiagnosis, clinical laboratory testing, retinal disease, ophthalmic genetics, and physical diagnosis. He is the author and illustrator of the textbook “Primary Low Vision Care” published by Appleton & Lange in 1994.
Dr. Nowakowski is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Alabama Optometric Association, and the American Society of Human Genetics. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. He received the 2014 “Aubrey D. Green Humanitarian Award” from the Lions of Alabama in recognition of making a “significant contribution to society beyond the obligations of occupation or profession.” In 1993 he received the “Charles B. Grider Award” for “outstanding, dedicated, and meritorious services rendered to blind and visually impaired citizens of Alabama,” presented by the Alabama Chapter of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.
“Dr. No” has played semi-professionally as a jazz guitarist, is an instrument rated private pilot, a graduate of the Bill Thomas School of Aerobatics, and an avid artist. Three of his oil paintings were selected by jury for the 2002 Energen Art Competition featuring Alabama artists.