Professor James G. Fujimoto, winner of the 2011 Carl Zeiss Research Award

Professor James G. Fujimoto, winner of the 2011 Carl Zeiss Research Award

Did You Know…

…that “Ultralight” Can Be Used for Research?

Professor James G. Fujimoto of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (USA) thought that what is possible with very high frequency sounds should also work with low-coherence-length light. Together with his team and other research partners, he developed optical coherence tomography (OCT), which could also be called “ultralight examination” in very simplified terms. It is the optical equivalent of acoustic ultrasound technology.

OCT is already being routinely used for eye examinations, e.g. to identify suspected glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. Due to its potential for diagnosing cardiac blood vessels, this technology is now at the threshold of broader clinical use, and intensive global research is being conducted on additional medical applications such as functional brain mapping as well.

Due to the wide range of uses of OCT in medical applications and in fundamental research, its inventor James Fujimoto has been honored with the 2011 Carl Zeiss Research Award. He thus joins a long list of renowned award-winners. Past recipients of the prize include Eric A. Cornell and Ahmed Zewail, both of whom went on to receive the Nobel Prize. The award with its cash prize of 25,000 euros will be presented to James Fujimoto in person later this year.

11 January 2011