James Fujimoto, the Elihu Thomson Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT has been selected for the 2014 IEEE Photonics Award. The award, which is sponsored by the IEEE Photonics Society, is given in recognition of outstanding achievements in photonics. Prof. Fujimoto is cited “for pioneering the development and commercialization of optical coherence tomography for medical diagnostics.” [Photo courtesy RLE/Greg Hren, photography]
James Fujimoto joined the MIT faculty in 1985 as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering after completing his SB, SM and PhD at MIT. He also holds the position of Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University. As principal investigator in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, Prof. Fujimoto, 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 in the eye.
This ground-breaking research at MIT in collaboration with Eric Swanson at MIT Lincoln Labs and clinical investigators at 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 eight companies that develop OCT instruments for the ophthalmic market.
Prof. Fujimoto has published over 400 journal articles and is editor or author of five books and co-author of numerous U.S. patents. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the 1999 Discover Magazine Award for Technological Innovation, the 2001 Rank Prize in Optoelectronics, the Carl Zeiss Research Award in 2011, and was co-recipient of the Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award in 2012.