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Professor James G. Fujimoto Honored for Eye Examination Method

2011 Carl Zeiss Research Award presented in Weimar

(PresseBox) (Weimar, Germany, ) The Carl Zeiss Research Award, one of the most renowned honors in the field of optics, was presented yesterday evening to Professor James G. Fujimoto. A professor at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fujimoto was honored for his eye examination method which works much like ultrasound. However, his method uses light rays instead of sound waves.

Optical equivalent of ultrasound technology

On behalf of his team, James G. Fujimoto accepted the 2011 Carl Zeiss Research Award for the development of optical coherence tomography (OCT).

OCT was published for the first time in Science magazine in 1991 and is considered the optical equivalent of acoustic ultrasound technology. Both techniques generate three-dimensional images of living tissue in real time. OCT uses light rays with a low coherence length, which generate a special interference pattern when overlaid that contains information on the properties of the specimen being examined.

It is already part of the standard equipment used in screening tests for glaucoma, diabetic retino- pathy and age-related macular degeneration. However, it can also be used for biopsies, histology and functional brain images.

"Professor Fujimoto played a major role in the development and application of OCT," quotes member of the jury Ernst Otto Göbel, President of the German National Metrology Institute in Brunswick, during his laudatory speech. "With his work, he considerably advanced basic research, medical applications and the transfer of technology."

In accepting the reward, James Fujimoto said, "I am very honored that our research on OCT has been recognized with the Carl Zeiss Research Award. This work would not have been possible without the multidisciplinary team. We are that much more proud to see that OCT has become a standard technology in clinical imaging and that it helps to improve the medical care of patients."

The Carl Zeiss Research Award

President and CEO of Carl Zeiss Dr. Michael Kaschke about the dedication of the optical company: "The foundation companies Carl Zeiss and Schott have been committed to advancing science from the beginning. For this reason, the two companies founded the Ernst Abbe Fund on the 100th anniversary of the Carl Zeiss Foundation, which honors scientific achievements in the fields important to the foundation companies."

With a value of €25,000, the Carl Zeiss Research Award is presented every two years by the Ernst Abbe Fund to honor experimental and theoretical work in the field of optics and its application. The previous winners include subsequent Nobel Prize laureates Eric A. Cornell and Ahmed Zewail.

For more information about the Carl Zeiss Research Award, please go to and