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Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging

Eric Swanson: The growth of the OCT market

Optical coherence tomography has matured in some applications, but its potential is expanding into many fields, according to one of its pioneers.

20 June 2013, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.201306.04

Eric Swanson is a director, advisor, and participant in a variety of industrial, academic, entrepreneurial, government, and non-profit activities. Swanson serves as a director for Acacia Communications, Curata Incorporated, and NinePoint Medical. He also serves as a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), consultant at Draper Laboratory, catalyst at the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, does a variety of volunteer activities, and is editor of the non-profit news outlet, OCT News.

Swanson is a co-founder or founding board member of five companies (including Advanced Ophthalmic Devices and Lightlab Imaging). He is a Fellow of the OSA and senior member of the IEEE, has authored ~180 technical papers and conference presentations, and holds ~35 US patents and numerous foreign patents.

In 1992, Swanson was a co-recipient of the Rank Prize for contributions in Opto-Electronics for his work in OCT. In 2012, he was a co-recipient of the António Champalimaud Vision Award for contributions to overall vision research. The 2012 award, given by the Champalimaud Foundation (Lisbon, Portugal), recognized two novel approaches for visualizing the living human retina: OCT and adaptive optics. The award citation for OCT states, "Optical Coherence Tomography, or OCT, was developed by merging interferometric methodologies with insights for their clinical ocular applicantion by a multidisciplinary effort of engineers, scientists, and physicians accomplished by James Fujimoto, Eric Swanson, David Huang, Carmen Puliafito and Joel Schuman. By revealing the human retina at remarkable resolution, OCT has already lead to improved diagnostics and clinical management."

Swanson holds a B.S. (summa cum laude) in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and an M.S. in electrical engineering from MIT.