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Adam Hickenbotham


Dean, College of Optometry

Dr. Adam Hickenbotham joined Rocky Mountain University in 2020 as the Founding Dean for the College of Optometry, which started its first class of students in 2023. Prior to joining RMU, he held a variety of academic leadership positions including Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Chief of Surgery, and Assistant Dean for Research. He earned a Doctorate in Optometry, a Master’s degree in Public Health and Epidemiology, and a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Hickenbotham was also the first optometrist to graduate from Harvard Medical School’s 1-Year Post-Graduate Medical Education Surgical Leadership Program where he received a Top 3 Distinction in a class of 130 distinguished surgeons. 

Dr. Hickenbotham has over 20 years of clinical experience, during which he owned and operated a private optometry clinic, oversaw the delivery of on-site medical care at more than 20 skilled nursing facilities, and managed refractive surgery clinics. 

He is very active in clinical research and manages clinical trials internationally. As part of his training, he completed the Clinical Research Conduct and Management Program as well as the Clinical Scientist Development Program at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Hickenbotham founded ThruFocus Optics, an ophthalmic medical device company based in Berkeley, California, which is developing innovative treatments for presbyopia, including a new laser surgical procedure currently in clinical trials. Dr. Hickenbotham has been awarded numerous U.S. and international patents for laser medical devices. 

Dr. Hickenbotham currently holds the academic rank of Professor. He has taught courses in laser surgery, pharmacology, optics, medical device development and engineering, and public health and epidemiology.