Celebration Profiles — February 27-March 3
In honor of our centennial anniversary, we are featuring members of our optometry community — past and present — each day of 2023!
See below for this week’s profiles.
This Week, We Are Celebrating…
William Tuten, OD, PhD
William Tuten is Assistant Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at UC Berkeley. His research involves using high-resolution retinal-imaging techniques to study vision at the cellular scale. Specific interests include: (1) characterizing the relationship between photoreceptor structure and function in patients with retinal disease; (2) examining how optics, eye movements, and neural processing combine to limit visual performance; and (3) understanding how the appearance of cone-sized stimuli is influenced by post-receptoral circuits that support spatial and color vision. He received a BA in Chemistry from Miami University in 2005, an OD and MS in Vision Science from the Ohio State University College of Optometry in 2009, and a PhD in Vision Science from UC Berkeley in 2014. Prior to returning to Berkeley in 2018, he was a post-doctoral fellow in the Departments of Psychology and Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Eleanor W. Kung, ODDr. Eleanor W. Kung (OD ‘10) grew up in Oakland and Berkeley, and now is a happy, long-time resident of San Francisco. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology and Doctor of Optometry from the University of California at Berkeley. She has extensive training and a penchant for treating dry eye, as well as, treatment and management of Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy, and Macular Degeneration. She has served on the board of the San Francisco Optometric Society and the Berkeley Optometry Alumni Association, where is she currently the Chairwoman of the Alumni Relations and Philanthropy Committee.
Michael Twa, OD, PhDDr. Michael Twa has been the Dean of the College of Optometry at the University of Houston since 2019. Dr. Twa completed his optometry training at UC Berkeley Optometry in 1990 and practiced in the Department of Ophthalmology at UC San Diego for 11 years in general optometry and corneal refractive surgery, while directing the clinical trials unit before returning to pursue a PhD in Vision Science at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. He was awarded a Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award by the National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute to pursue research related to glaucoma, biomedical imaging, and machine learning methods.
Upon completion of his doctoral training, Dr. Twa was appointed as a Research Assistant Professor at Ohio State University, before joining the University of Houston as an Assistant Professor in 2007. He served as the Associate Dean for research and graduate studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry from 2014 to 2019. Dr. Twa became a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry in 1993, served as the Chair of the Academy’s Scientific Program Committee from 2010 to 2014, and in 2016 was appointed as the 7th Editor in Chief of Optometry and Vision Science.
Marvin Poston, ODDr. Marvin Poston (1914–2002) was born in St. Louis, Missouri. A 1939 graduate of Berkeley Optometry, Dr. Poston was the first black optometrist to receive his training at Berkeley. His life is a reflection of hard work, determination, accomplishment, and good humor. Dr. Poston is nationally recognized and respected for his roles as an optometrist, legislative and optometric professional, pioneering African-American, role model for minority youth, community leader, and statesman.
Dr. Poston gave much to the field of optometry. He began his optometry practice in downtown Oakland. He undertook a personal campaign of visiting high schools to encourage other young blacks to follow him in the profession. Dr. Poston also helped organize a pioneering vision insurance program (California Vision Services, today called Vision Service Plan, or VSP); he was one of the original signers of the first articles of incorporation in 1955. He remained very active, and in 1963 was elected president of VSP.
Dr. Poston served on the State Board of Optometry during the 1960s, having been appointed by Governor Brown, Sr. and was re-appointed by Governor Reagan. In the 1970s he worked tirelessly to raise funds for Minor Addition (1978), Berkeley Optometry’s newer building. As chair of the industrial relations part of the campaign, Poston contacted nearly 150 laboratories and manufacturers to encourage their participation.
Over the years so many questions were posed to Dr. Poston about getting started in the field of optometry that after remembering his own difficulties, he established a consulting service for young optometrists. He also helped organize the West Oakland Health group where he served as vice-president and chair of the vision care group. He organized the Children’s Vision Center of the East Bay and vision screening programs for the East Bay Skills Center. He also served as co-chair of the Merritt College Optometric Assistance Advisory Committee and as a member of the Public Advisory Council on Education for the Oakland public schools. Dr. Poston retired to a beautiful vineyard in Calistoga, California where he spent his last years, still engaged in consultations with young optometrists.