Optics in the Medical World


Important information

In light of the current developments related to the coronavirus, we have decided to postpone the international ZEISS Symposium 2020 until next year. It was set to take place on 17 June 2020 in Oberkochen. The event will still be dedicated to innovations and applications of photonics in medicine.

This decision was prompted by planning uncertainty, and was made above all in the interests and for the protection of our guests, keynote and invited speakers, and contributors. We kindly ask for your understanding in this matter.

We will provide you with more information about the new date for 2021 in advance.

Welcome to the ZEISS Symposium

  • What is the role of optical technologies in addressing the challenges faced by medicine and health care?
  • What are the limits of scientific research and medical practices today?
  • And what are possible solutions for tomorrow?

Optical technologies have always driven innovation in medicine. By extending and complementing these with digital technologies, optical solutions can become even more relevant for targeting the increasing and complex needs of medicine and health care. Therefore, this year's ZEISS Symposium will focus on optics and medicine.

A Welcome Reception will be held on the evening before the Symposium. We hope you can attend. It will take place at the ZEISS Medical Technology Customer Center, and you will have the chance to take a guided tour. ZEISS Symposium participants are cordially invited to attend this evening event. No participation fees will be charged. Limited travel funds are available for student researchers.

ZEISS Symposium “Optics in the Medical World”

Date: To be announced

ZEISS Forum Oberkochen

Carl-Zeiss-Straße 22, 73447 Oberkochen, Germany

Why participate?

  • Learn about optics' broad role in medicine both now and in the future
  • Gain insights from leading experts (keynotes, panel discussion)
  • Discuss needs and emerging photonics solutions in medicine with clinicians and peers from academia and industry
  • Contribute to a medical optics white paper on what action needs to be taken in strategic research fields over the coming years
  • Expand your professional network
  • Celebrate the ZEISS Research Award winner

Jonathan Sorger

Intuitive Surgical Inc.
How advances in visualization have contributed to intelligent (robotic) surgery

Eva M. Sevick

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Dr. Eva Sevick
Discovery in the translation of diagnostic, near-infrared fluorescence lymphatic imaging

Vasilis Ntziachristos

Helmholtz Center Munich/TU Munich
Vasilis Ntziachristos
Listening to light: label-free optoacoustic imaging of biomolecules

Sarah Bohndiek

University of Cambridge
Sarah Bohndiek
Shedding light on tumour oxygenation
The grand finale of this symposium will be the presentation of the 2020 ZEISS Research Award and the Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers together with a special lecture by: Helmut Dosch, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY / University Hamburg

Workshops at a glance

During the symposium, you have the opportunity to attend one of three workshops:

1. Advanced Visualization and Automation in Surgery, and Light-Based Therapies

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • precision and minimally invasive surgery
  • automated and robot-assisted surgery
  • laser cutting, shaping, and photocoagulation
  • photo-dynamic and other localized treatments
  • visual therapeutic stimuli
  • ocular implants

2. Optical Image Acquisition, Sensing and Interpretation for Diagnostics

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • optical imaging modalities (in-vivo, ex-vivo)
  • mobile / point-of-care imaging
  • optical in-vitro diagnostics
  • visual stimuli for diagnostics
  • AI for image reconstruction and interpretation

3. Emerging Translational Photonics Life Science Research Topics

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • optogenetics
  • genetic analytics
  • brain functional imaging
  • photonics-supported cell-based therapies
  • liquid biopsy using light
  • optics-enabled tissue engineering and printing
  • organ-on-a-chip

What's the ZEISS Symposium about?

The ZEISS Symposium is held every two years, starting in 2016, following the same format. It is intended as a platform for optics experts to identify trends and research requirements in this field. Around 200 international scientists and leading industry representatives networked on different topics like "Optics in the Digital World" or "Optics in the Quantum World". The results are published in a series of additional white papers.

The ZEISS Research Award Ceremony will be held following the topical workshops at the ZEISS Symposium. The award will honor outstanding achievements in international research. Many of the 26 award winners have gone on to receive other important distinctions, and four of them have even won the Nobel Prize.

You are interested in previous ZEISS Symposia?

Have a look.

Optics in the Quantum World

18 April 2018

Quantum effects are in use since the 20th century and have led to market shaping innovations like semiconductor electronics and lasers. In the 21st century, quantum technology developments focus on the controlled quantum state of individual or coupled systems. While this quantum technology is still in the research stage, it offers an enormous potential and a number of initiatives worldwide have been formed to foster the technology and its commercial potential.

Optics in the Digital World

23 June 2016

Around 200 international experts discussed trends in optics and photonics at the ZEISS Symposium 'Optics in the Digital World.' The keynote speakers were Laura Waller from the University of California, Berkeley, Ingmar Posner from Oxford University and David Bohn from Microsoft. All three outlined the requirements to be met in the future by research. These are being shaped by increasing digitization and Big Data applications and are determining trends in optical technologies. These include computer-aided image processing, processing large datasets in optics, obtaining information from data, visualization for augmented and virtual reality scenarios (AR/VR) as well as computer vision and machine learning.