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James Fujimoto and David Huang among Champalimaud Vision Award winners

18 September 2012

SPIE Fellow James Fujimoto (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and SPIE Member David Huang (Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health Sciences University) were among researchers awarded the 2012 António Champalimaud Vision Award last week in Portugal for two novel approaches to visualizing the living human retina in health and disease.

  • David Williams (University of Rochester) was awarded half of the prize for his work with adaptive optics technologies (AO). Originally developed by astronomers to see through atmospheric aberrations Williams’ application of AO to the eye brings retinal cells into sharp focus by correcting for natural optical imperfections of the cornea and lens, making it possible to view and count individual cone photoreceptors in the living human retina.
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was developed by merging the low coherence interferometry methodologies of Fujimoto, Huang and Eric Swanson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) with insights for their clinical ocular application by Carmen Puliafito (University of Southern California) and Joel Schuman (University of Pittsburgh). By revealing the human retina at remarkable resolution, OCT has led to improved diagnostics and clinical management. Half of the prize will be distributed among the five researchers.

"Previously unknown details of the malleability of the human retina have emerged through application of OCT and AO in health and disease. These methods are dramatically changing ophthalmic practice and our understanding and management of ocular aging and disease,” the Champalimaud Foundation said in a statement.

The Champalimaud Award is given in even-numbered years and offers €1 million for contributions to vision research, the largest amount of any award in the fields of vision science and ophthalmology

Read the complete press release.

Hear David Huang’s talk on OCT from SPIE Photonics West 2011.

Read about James Fujimoto’s recent work in a review of lasers in medicine in SPIE Professional magazine

Read about David Williams’ research in a feature from SPIE Professional magazine.