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Dr. Samuels Named Chief of Staff, Director of Glaucoma Division

Brian C. Samuels, MD, PhD, associate professor in the UAB Department of Ophthalmology, has been named director of the Glaucoma Division and chief of staff of UAB Callahan Eye Hospital. Dr. Samuels completed his residency training at UAB, followed by clinical and research fellowships in glaucoma at Duke University. Since his fellowship, he has established a reputation in the glaucoma field as an outstanding clinician-scientist.

Dr. Samuels has built a successful research program since joining the UAB faculty. He is the primary investigator or co-primary investigator on three NIH grants and recently was awarded the prestigious Research to Prevent Blindness Physician-Scientist Award. His research focuses on identifying how the brain controls pressure inside the eye and brain. This is important because an imbalance in these pressures is thought to be a leading cause for the development and progression of glaucoma. He also works to develop novel research models aimed at accelerating the pace of new discoveries in the field of glaucoma research.

In addition to his own work, he collaborates with many of the leading glaucoma research experts, both on campus and nationwide. Of note is his collaboration with Georgia Tech and NASA that seeks to understand why astronauts who spend long periods of time in space are experiencing vision problems. While much of his focus is devoted to glaucoma research, Dr. Samuels also maintains an active clinical and surgical practice. He sees general ophthalmology patients, but his specific area of expertise is the diagnosis and management of glaucoma patients.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Samuels in his new roles as director of the UAB Glaucoma Division and chief of staff at the Callahan Eye Hospital,” says Christopher A. Girkin, MD, MSPH, FACS, EyeSight Foundation of Alabama Chair in the UAB Department of Ophthalmology. “As a practice partner and research collaborator, I have had the opportunity to see Brian develop into an accomplished clinician-scientist. He directs a well-funded, productive basic science laboratory and maintains a busy clinic practice delivering care to patients with complex glaucomatous disease. In addition, he is well respected by the faculty, residents, and staff within the department and among the community physicians. Dr. Samuels’ previous research, clinical, and administrative experiences have positioned him to lead our growing Glaucoma Division, which now consists of seven fellowship-trained clinicians and clinician-scientists in addition to six faculty researchers. I am confident he will excel in these new roles and be a key leader in our continued success.”