The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation has announced James G. Fujimoto, Ph.D., the Elihu Thomson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as its 2017 Beckman-Argyros Vision Research Award winner. Presented annually, the award recognizes an individual who has made and is continuing to make significant transformative breakthroughs in vision research; particularly through the development of an innovative technology or fundamental scientific breakthrough that has been applied to, aided and/or improved the vision sciences. Dr. Fujimoto and MIT will receive $100,000 and $400,000, respectively, to further advance the application of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).
Fujimoto pioneered OCT imaging in ophthalmology, now considered the standard of care with more than 30 million procedures performed worldwide every year. OCT can be combined with a range of instruments and Fujimoto is currently developing advanced optical imaging for cancer detection including endoscopic OCT and surgical guidance.
“This award will enable Dr. Fujimoto’s lab to move beyond structural imaging of the eye to develop and demonstrate functional optical coherence tomography,” explained Dr. Anne Hultgren, Beckman Foundation’s Executive Director. “Functional imaging techniques can tell the doctor information about potential blood-flow issues or changes in cell function, and this is exciting because it can help provide early indicators of disease.”
The proposed research will take a three-part approach and seeks to develop quantitative methods for imaging and measuring blood flow, identify surrogate markers for dark adaptation which can assess retinal function, and develop new technologies for high speed, ultrahigh resolution OCT.