Dr. Nickla is currently instructor of record for the course Cell Biology, Histology, and Ocular Anatomy. She also teaches bi-annually in the college’s international master’s program in Aalen, Germany. Dr. Nickla joined the faculty as a research associate in 1996, shortly after being recruited to work in the college’s Myopia Research Center. Her research interests center on the visual regulation of ocular growth, with emphasis on the roles of the choroid, and ocular diurnal rhythms in the process of emmetropization. The goals of her research are to find ways to slow or stop the progression of myopia. She is an internationally-respected expert in the myopia field.
In 2001, Dr. Nickla received a grant entitled “Ocular diurnal rhythms and eye growth” from the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute in support of her research program; this grant has remained funded through 2013. Her current research focus is on diurnal rhythms in ocular dimensions, and how these rhythms may be altered to prevent or slow myopia. Information gathered from this line of Dr. Nickla’s research could lead to the development of time-of-day related treatment therapies for myopia. In 2016, she received funding for a new grant titled “Vision, eye growth rhythms and retinal signals in refractive development”, which is being carried out in collaboration with two noted researchers in molecular biology at Emory University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Nickla is on the Editorial board of the journal Current Eye Research. She also maintains a professional membership with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and is a manuscript reviewer for many vision journals including Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science, Experimental Eye Research, Current Eye Research, and Ophthalmic and Physiologic Optics.
Dr. Nickla earned a BS in biology and chemistry and a MS in Biology from the State University of New York, Albany. She earned her PhD in Biology from the City College of the City University of New York in 1996.