Photo of James G. Fujimoto

James G. Fujimoto

  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation
  • Medicine

For the invention and advancement of optical coherence tomography, a breakthrough imaging technology used to detect, understand, and treat life- and sight-threatening diseases for millions of people around the world.

Dr. James G. Fujimoto is Elihu Thomson Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Research Laboratory of Electronics, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also Visiting Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor at the Medical University of Vienna and has Honorary Doctorates from the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and Nicolaus Copernicus University. Dr. Fujimoto’s group and collaborators invented optical coherence tomography (OCT) and played a continuing role in its development. With the New England Eye Center (NEEC), they performed the first studies of OCT in ophthalmology. Today, OCT is a standard of care, improving diagnosis and monitoring treatment response in millions of patients every year. His group also investigated OCT for fundamental science, cancer pathology, endoscopy and surgical guidance, making advances in ultrahigh-speed and ultrahigh-resolution as well as techniques to assess vasculature as early markers of disease. His group’s alumni include faculty at many leading US and international universities.

Dr. Fujimoto co-founded a startup company which was acquired by Carl Zeiss Meditec, leading to the commercialization of ophthalmic OCT, as well as LightLab Imaging which developed intravascular OCT and was acquired by Goodman and St. Jude Medical. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was co-recipient of the Champalimaud Vision Prize 2012, National Academy of Engineering Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Award 2017 and European Inventor Award 2017. He also received the Zeiss Research Award 2011, Optical Society of America Ives Medal 2015, Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research 2017, and IEEE Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology 2022.