Citing "advances in the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT)," the Ernst Abbe Fund announced the recipient of the 2011 Carl Zeiss Research Award for outstanding work in international optical research: James G. Fujimoto, Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT and Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University. Two previous honorees won the Nobel Prize.
Fujimoto has directed pioneering efforts at MIT since 1991 to develop OCT, which grew from the group's early studies using femtosecond optical pulses to perform optical ranging and measurement in the eye. His group pioneered research at MIT—in cooperation with Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine researchers—to investigate a number of applications for the technology. OCT quickly became a standard of care in ophthalmology (for evaluating disease progression and assessing treatment response in diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration), recently won FDA approval for intravascular and pulmonary imaging, and is being actively pursued by researchers for numerous other applications.