James Fujimoto has been appointed as the Elihu Thomson Professor of Electrical Engineering for a five-year term from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2017.
Jim Fujimoto joined the MIT faculty in 1985 as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering after completing his SB, SM and PhD at MIT. He is currently a Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT and an Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University. As principal investigator in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, Jim, working with his group and collaborators, pioneered the development of optical coherence tomography (OCT) in the early 1990s. OCT is a new medical imaging modality which uses echoes of light to enable real-time visualization of internal tissue microstructure and pathology. The development of OCT stemmed from the group’s early studies using femtosecond optical pulses to perform optical ranging and measurement in the eye. This ground-breaking research at MIT in collaboration with investigators from MIT Lincoln Labs, the Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine, has resulted in a host of valuable OCT applications spanning ophthalmology and cardiology as well as fundamental research. The technology has had a major clinical impact in ophthalmology, with tens of millions of OCT imaging procedures performed yearly and more than 8 companies which develop OCT instruments for the ophthalmic market. Jim has published over 375 journal articles, is editor or author of 5 books, and co-author of numerous U.S. patents. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His many honors include the 1999 Discover Magazine Award for Technological Innovation, the 2001 Rank Prize in Optoelectronics and the Carl Zeiss Research Award in 2011.
The Thomson chair was established to honor the distinguished scientist, engineer, and inventor whose discoveries and inventions made major contributions to the development of the electrical industry. Dr. Thomson served as a member of the MIT Corporation and its Executive Committee, as a non-resident professor of applied electricity, and in one critical period, 1920-21 as Acting President of the Institute. The Elihu Thomson Chair was previously held by Professors Hermann A. Haus and Erich P. Ippen.