A photo of William Walker Motley.

Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology

Associate Professor, UC Department of PediatricsUC Department of Ophthalmology



Board Certified

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"There is often more than one way to treat an eye condition. I present all available options to my patients and their parents or caregivers so they can weigh in on the treatments they prefer. And I make sure everyone knows we will work through any issues together."

About Me


I believe the treatment of a young child's vision boils down to a partnership between the parent or caregiver and the child’s doctor. As a pediatric ophthalmologist, my treatment of a child’s eye condition can sometimes stretch for years or even decades.

There is often more than one way to treat an eye condition. I present all available options to my patients and their parents or caregivers so they can weigh in on the treatments they prefer. And I make sure everyone knows we will work through any issues together.

My work helps families manage conditions that threaten their child’s sight. I primarily address medical or optical issues that slow or reverse vision development in children under seven years old. Amblyopia is one example. This form of vision loss prevents the development of vision during childhood. Other conditions I treat include crossed or misaligned eyes, double vision, pediatric cataracts, optic pathway gliomas and capillary hemangiomas.

My goal is to minimize the risk of vision loss in children and young adults. Once we achieve that goal, patients can see a pediatric optometrist or community eye doctor for the rest of their childhood and adolescence. When I follow a patient to age 18, we work together to transition to an adult eyecare doctor.

I also consult with and treat adults living with eye misalignment or oculomotor conditions. These adult patients see me and maintain care with their primary eyecare doctor for glasses and to monitor for other eye issues.

My personal connection to eye disease comes from my family. I watched one grandparent go blind from glaucoma and another lose sight from macular degeneration. Like many people, I learned the importance of being able to see after observing family members lose their vision.

Before medical school I earned degrees in biomedical engineering. I am fascinated by applying engineering concepts to healthcare. But I really wanted to interact with patients. I chose ophthalmology because of its high-tech care delivery. The optical aspects of the eye and the biomechanics of ocular movement are key aspects of pediatric ophthalmology that fit nicely into an engineer’s framework.

My research focuses on gaining a better understanding of how optic pathway obstructions impact visual function and the best way to provide treatment. I am also interested in improving education and training for future pediatric ophthalmologists.

In my free time, I play keyboard and bass guitar with friends in a "dad band." We’re getting better, but I won’t give up my day job. I also enjoy waterskiing and wakeboarding. I am a volunteer leader for our local scout troop and enjoy backpacking and canoeing.

Clinical Interests

Strabismus; amblyopia; cataract; intraocular lens implantation; retinopathy of prematurity

Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, UC Department of PediatricsUC Department of Ophthalmology

Clinical Divisions

Ophthalmology, Epidermolysis Bullosa EB

My Locations

My Education

BE: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 1992.

MS: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 1993.

MD: University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, 1997.

Internship: Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, 1997-1998.

Residency: Ophthalmology, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 1998-2001.

Fellowship: Pediatric Ophthalmology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2001-2002.

Board Certification: Ophthalmology, 2003.

My Publications

Expansion of the ophthalmic phenotype of SPINT2-related syndromic congenital sodium diarrhea. Ernst, J; Hiasat, J; Alabek, ML; Scanga, HL; Motley, W; Nischal, KK. American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A. 2021; 185:1270-1274.

Surgical Management of Keratoconus in a Young Adult with Cognitive and Behavioral Disability. Cobb, PI; Motley, WW. Surgical Case Reports. 2020; 1-4.

Ten-Year Review of Pediatric Microbial Keratitis and Applicability of the 1-2-3- Rule. Motley, WW; Al-Thawabieh, W. Surgical Case Reports. 2020; 1-5.

Secondary 12-Month Ocular Outcomes of a Phase 1 Dosing Study of Bevacizumab for Retinopathy of Prematurity. Crouch, ER; Wallace, DK; Holmes, JM; Repka, MX; Steinkuller, PG; Freedman, SF; Prakalapakorn, SG; Jones, SK; Nasrazadani, DA; Cranford, AM; et al. JAMA Ophthalmology. 2020; 138:14-20.

Pediatric Ophthalmoplegia and Ptosis in Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex Associated With Muscular Dystrophy. Al-Thawabieh, W; Lucky, AW; Wong, B; Motley, WW. Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. 2018; 55:e26-e29.

Surgical, medical and developmental outcomes in patients with Down syndrome and cataracts. Santoro, SL; Atoum, D; Hufnagel, RB; Motley, WW. SAGE Open Medicine. 2017; 5.

Animal Model for Retinopathy of Prematurity Laser Surgery Training. Motley, WW; Atoum, DM. Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. 2017; 54:e47-e49.

Pediatric ophthalmoplegia and ptosis associated with epidermolysis bullosa simplex-muscular dystrophy and PLEC mutations. Motley, WW; Al-Thawabieh, W; Lucky, AW; Wong, B. Journal of AAPOS. 2017; 21.

Animal model for retinopathy of prematurity laser surgery training. Motley, WW; Atoum, D. Journal of AAPOS. 2016; 20.

Struggling resident surgeons: educational strategies for success. Siatkowski, RM; Yanovitch, TL; Collinge, JE; Motley, WW; Quinn, G. Journal of AAPOS. 2016; 20.