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COOL Lab News


Yali Jia, PhD and John Morrison, MD Received NIH R01 Grant for visible-light OCT angiography, velocimetry, and oximetry for characterizing retinal vascular alterations in glaucoma (2020-2023)

This project will develop advanced technology to image retinal capillaries and measure capillary blood flow and oxygen content. This may provide an early indicator of glaucoma progression and help study a potential cause of increased susceptibility to intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients.

January 9, 2019

Yali Jia named Jennie P. Weeks Professor of Ophthalmology

The Weeks Trust was established in 1950 for the purpose of supporting an ophthalmology laboratory at OHSU (which was then called The University of Oregon Medical School).  The trust was transferred to OHSU Foundation in 2010 and the establishment of the Jennie P. Weeks Endowed Professorship followed. Mrs. Weeks wrote that she would like the funds to “assist in preserving the close harmony and happiness which exists among the faculty and staff, and to give encouragement to those who are devoting their lives to important investigations and the care of those who are ill.”

David Huang, MD, PhD ranked #1 inventor on Ophthalmologist Magazine's Power List 2019

Each nomination celebrates an individual who has made a significant impact on the field, whether that is through a philanthropic initiative or their ongoing commitment to innovation. Categories include Champions of Change, Emerging Leaders, Inventors, Mentors, and Surgical Pioneers. Asked what he hopes to achieve in the next ten years, Dr Huang states, "I hope to help bring OCT angiography technology into the mainstream of clinical practice in glaucoma and retinal diseases. I would like to see the GoCheck Kids smartphone app being used to screen worldwide to catch refractive error and other amblyopia risk factors. I also have several new imaging and laser treatment ideas that I would like to bring to the stage of commercialization and clinical introduction."

Yali Jia, PhD selected as recipient of 2019 Discovery Award for Women in Science

Selected in recognition of her exceptional achievements in research, Dr. Yali Jia will receive the 2019 Discovery Award for Women in Science. Dr. Jia is among the most influential researchers working on developing optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). Her work has led to major breakthroughs that transitioned OCTA from a purely research technology to the clinic, which is a significant advancement for ophthalmology in general. The importance and quality of her research in OCTA is exemplary, and should serve as inspiration for the next generation of women scientists.

Yali Jia, PhD wins the 2019 ARVO Foundation/Pfizer Ophthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award

Yali Jia, PhD won this prestigious award which honors excellence in research and fundamental scientific discoveries, concepts and novel technologies. The discovery that each recipient is nominated for leads to, or has the promise of leading to, clinical applications. This award for young investigators working in areas of translational research honors Dr. Carl Camras, who is highly respected for his work as a glaucoma specialist and a research scientist. He is most widely recognized for developing prostaglandin analogues for the treatment of elevated IOP in patients with glaucoma. During his distinguished career, he took a personal interest in developing the next generation of eye and vision researchers.

Yali Jia, PhD is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Dr. Jia earned her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from OHSU in 2010 under the guidance of Dr. Ruikang Wang. Dr. Jia completed her post-doctoral training with Dr. David Huang at Casey Eye Institute in 2013. Dr. Jia is known for her innovations in optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCTA) and the application to eye diseases. She developed split-spectrum amplitude-decorrelation angiography (SSADA), which is a major breakthrough that transitioned OCTA from a purely research technology to the clinic. Her original paper on this subject, published in 2012, has been cited 900 times. She was awarded 3 NIH research project grants that supported the initial works that demonstrated clinical applications of OCTA in retinal diseases. She is the technical leader in Casey Reading Center. Her OCTA reading software (COOL-ART) has been used by several large clinical studies and many international collaborators. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles with over 6000 citations. She has co-edited 3 books. Dr. Jia and her team are also pursuing research in other novel OCT technologies including the use of nanoparticles as OCT contrast agents, Doppler OCT to measure retinal blood flow, spectroscopic OCT to measure tissue oxymetry, and the use of artificial intelligence to detect and classify retinal pathologies. 

Dr. Jia says of receiving this award, "This award is huge encouragement for me, women scientists and the OCT and OCTA community. I will continue to advance frontiers in my active research program and I believe the future of OCTA will have a major impact on the diagnosis and management of ocular diseases."

Yali Jia, PhD receives the 2018 New Inventor of the Year Award

Yali Jia, PhD, was recognized by Technology Transfer and Business Development (TTBD) at OHSU as New Inventor of the Year. Associate professor of ophthalmology, Jia worked with TTBD to develop the split-spectrum amplitude-decorrelation angiography (SSADA) algorithm, which allows physicians to map ocular circulation down to the capillary level.

July 3, 2017

Yali Jia has been promoted to Associate Professor

Based on the recommendation of department chair and a positive review of the documentation of her performance record by the School of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee, Yali Jia, PhD was informed of her promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, in the Department of Ophthalmology, effective July 1, 2017.

Congratulations on this fine achievement and best wishes for continued growth in academic medicine.

December 8, 2017

Study by David Huang and ARVO authors finds vision research pays for itself

Researchers have shown that optical coherence tomography (OCT) has saved Medicare $9 billion dollars by reducing the frequency of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections used to treat patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (wet-AMD). Their results were published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology and announced publically at a Congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. The manuscript serves as the capstone of the ARVO public awareness campaign, “Telling the story of OCT”, an ARVO initiative to promote the value of vision research to policymakers, the press, patients and the general public.

The savings to Medicare, the U.S. health insurance program for citizens over 65 years old, is 21 times more than the $0.4 billion invested by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation over 20 years — suggesting that investments in vision research more than pay for themselves.

ARVO President Claude Burgoyne, MD, FARVO, of Devers Eye Institute, and coauthors Philip Rosenfeld, MD, PhD of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Eric Swanson, MS, co-inventor of OCT, presented the paper’s findings to legislators on Capitol Hill at an hour-long Congressional briefing cosponsored by the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research. Prior to the briefing, the three participated in advocacy visits with their Congressional delegations, which were hosted by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR). To help policymakers better understand the technology and its capabilities, an OCT instrument provided by Leica Microsystems was available at the briefing to scan the retinas of attendees.


More info:

Original paper:

David Huang, MD, PhD receives the Dastgheib Pioneer Award in Ocular Innovation

Established by Duke Eye Center Alumni, Kourosh Alexander Dastgheib, the Dastgheib Pioneer Award in Ocular Innovation Lecturer is awarded annually to someone who has made a major contribution in the field of Ophthalmology focused on something that has proved useful in real life.

Yali Jia, PhD Honored with a Research to Prevent Blindness William & Mary Greve Special Scholar Award

Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine has been granted a $60,000 William & Mary Greve Special Scholar Award by Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) to support eye research conducted by Yali Jia, PhD. The award, part of RPB's Special Scholar Program, is designed to support outstanding young scientists who are conducting research of unusual significance and promise.

RPB's Special Scholar awards were established in 1971. To date, the program has given awards to 221 up-and-coming vision research scientists in departments of ophthalmology at universities across the country.

Yali Jia, PhD Receives NIH Grant for Wide-Field and Projection-Resolved Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography in Diabetic Retinopathy

Yali Jia, PhD receives a 2017 NIH Grant for $487,587 for Wide-Field and Projection-Resolved Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCTA) in Diabetic Retinopathy (DR). The program begins in 2017 and ends in 2021.

The OCTA technology used by previous studies is limited by the small fields of view (2.4-6 mm) and the projection artifacts in the deeper layers, which are caused by flowing blood cells in the more superficial vessels. The current proposal will overcome the previous limitations by improving both the hardware platform and software algorithms to obtain wide-field (WF) and projection-resolved (PR) OCTA.

  1. Develop wide-field OCT system for imaging peripheral retinal circulation. We have developed a 200-kHz swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) system. This system is ready for use in clinical studies. We propose to further increase system speed and develop automatic registration and montage algorithms to create ultrawide-field OCTA.

  2. Improve the projection-resolved OCTA algorithm for imaging of retinal and choroidal plexuses. We have preliminarily demonstrated that separation of three retinal plexuses improved the detection of early vascular changes in DR. We will refine this algorithm and apply it to the WF-OCTA on the high-speed SS-OCT systems.

  3. Quantify neovascularization and nonperfusion areas using WF- and PR-OCTA in DR. We will further optimize the automated quantification of all relevant DR endpoints, including nonperfusion of all vascular layers, neovascularization, cyst volume, and retinal thickness maps on both commercial and custom OCT systems proposed in this study.

  4. Evaluate advanced OCTA for DR in clinical studies. 

National Academy of Inventors inducts David Huang as Fellow

Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow status have been nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

OHSU Casey Eye Institute researcher David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., has been awarded the 2017 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize by the National Academy of Engineering. The Russ Prize recognizes an outstanding bioengineering achievement in widespread use that improves the human condition in areas ranging from biomedical instrumentation and prosthetic technologies to pharmaceutical processing and diagnostic technologies.

Huang, the Peterson Professor of Ophthalmology and professor of biomedical engineering, was a member of the James Fujimoto team that invented optical coherence tomography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The National Academy of Engineering cites the team for dramatically improving the quality of life for people with diminished eyesight by leveraging creative engineering to invent imaging technology essential for preventing blindness and treating vascular and other diseases.

OCT has had a tremendous scientific, clinical, and economic impact on society. In the 25 years since its invention, OCT has become one of the most widely used technologies for imaging the human eye. Huang has contributed to the advances that make OCT an essential tool for treating blinding diseases ranging from macular degeneration to diabetic retinopathy. He has contributed to polarization-sensitive, swept-source, spectroscopic, and anterior eye OCT, as well as OCT angiography.

To view the Russ prize presentation, click the link below:

ARVO presents David Huang with the 2017
Dr. David L. Epstein Award

The award was created by the family of David L. Epstein, MD, to perpetuate and honor his commitment to the scientific understanding and cure of glaucoma through the support of promising clinician-scientists in exceptional research environments. It is the intent of the donors that this award further Dr. Epstein's long-standing determination and interest in solving the complex issues of glaucoma through well-conceived and executed scientific research focused on finding the causes and new treatments for the disease.

July 13, 2016

Celebrating 25 years of Optical Coherence Tomography

Co-invented by OHSU's Dr. David Huang 25 years ago, OCT technology helps detect and stop blindness


ARVO journal publishes special issue to commemorate 25th anniversary 

PORTLAND, Ore.– The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology today published a special anniversary edition in their journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science with more than 70 articles to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the invention of Optical Coherence Tomography technology, co-invented by Oregon Health & Science University Casey Eye Institute's David Huang, M.D., Ph.D. while Huang was a Ph.D. student with James Fujimoto, Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

OCT is the most commonly used ophthalmic diagnostic technology worldwide, with an estimated 30 million OCT imaging procedures performed every year.

"I am pleased to see how well the OCT technology has evolved over the past 25 years to help diagnose and treat the most common causes of blindness, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma,” said Huang, Peterson Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering at OHSU Casey Eye Institute. "OCT use continues to grow exponentially in ophthalmology and other medical specialties, including cardiology, dermatology, neurology and gastroenterology.”

OCT has transformed the way ophthalmologists are able to diagnose, monitor and treat devastating eye diseases, and it has advanced drug discovery and development. The technology is particularly suitable for the early detection of glaucoma and macular degeneration, diseases that may cause significant damage prior to the appearance of symptoms. OCT is also widely used for diabetic macular edema, the leading cause of blindness in young patients.

"Dr. Huang's contribution to the field of ophthalmology has been tremendous and we are very fortunate to have such a brilliant mind here at Casey Eye Institute and in Oregon,” said David J. Wilson, M.D., director of the OHSU Casey Eye Institute and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology in the OHSU School of Medicine. "This anniversary is a perfect opportunity to celebrate OCT as a truly transformative medical technology. Such transformations do not occur often in medicine.”

OCT technology has evolved over the past 25 years with great advances in imaging speed and quality. Ophthalmologists can now study disease at the microscopic level without biopsy, and with complete patient comfort. For the first time, eye physicians can visualize and measure blood flow in the smallest of blood vessels, without the need to inject contrast agents. Non-invasive visualization and measurement of blood flow gives great insight into the cause and progression of eye disease.

Huang, who was recently ranked the 4th most influential figure in the world of ophthalmology by The Ophthalmologist PowerList 2016, runs the Center for Ophthalmic Optics and Lasers, or COOL Lab, at Casey Eye Institute which includes a team of top scientists from around the world who have been perfecting OCT technology for more than 15 years. Several members of the lab have contributed articles for the special issue in IOVS (see Related Content for links to articles).

"The special issue focused on Optical Coherence Tomography is a timely compendium of recent research papers that are using this technology that has reshaped our thinking about disease processes and drug mechanisms,” said Thomas Yorio, Ph.D., a fellow of ARVO and editor-in-chief at the ARVO journal IOVS. "The ability to utilize OCT and the advances in this imaging technique have allowed us to see sections of the eye in a vastly new way, making surgical procedures easier, clinical observations clearer and providing insight into new research areas. IOVS is excited to host this exciting special issue. Special thanks go to our contributing editors, Dr. Huang and Dr. Fujimoto.”

Key OHSU collaborators with Huang's lab include Ou Tan, Ph.D., John C. Morrison, M.D., Yali Jia, Ph.D., Winston Chamberlain, M.D., Ph.D., Steven Bailey, M.D., Thomas S. Hwang, M.D., and Douglas D. Koch, M.D. at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.


For more information, please also see:

1.  Wills S.  OSA Centennial Snapshots: OCT and the flowering of biophotonics.  Opt Photonics News September 2016:42-49.

2.  Coffey VC.  Advanced OCT:  Making waves in the Market.  Opt Photonics News September 2016:26-33.

ARVO Initiative

Subject: OCT public awareness campaign launched


With so many of us reliant on government funding for our research, it is important to show the impact our work has on patients, policymakers and the general public. To spread awareness of our community’s contributions to public health, ARVO is launching the largest science communication project it has ever undertaken, called “Revealing the back of the eye with optical coherence tomography (OCT).”

The flagship product of this campaign is a series of videos featuring testimony from patients, clinicians and researchers. Topics cover how OCT improves the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinopathy of prematurity and diabetic retinopathy. The technology’s initial support from government funding and potential future applications — diagnosing neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, improving surgical outcomes in the operating room and application in telemedicine — are highlighted as well.

In addition to the videos, several other resources have been developed:


This two-year project would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the support of the ARVO Board of Directors. I am also grateful for the guidance provided by the OCT Advisory Panel, a group of the leading OCT researchers who helped guide the direction and accuracy of the initiative. Finally, I’d like to thank the ARVO staff who dedicated a significant amount of their time ensuring this project crossed the finish line.

Matt Windsor

Senior Manager, Science Communications

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Publications from the  IOVS Special Issue:  25 Years of Optical Coherence Tomography


Fujimoto JG, Huang D.  Foreword:  25 years of optical coherence tomography.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57:OCTi-ii


Gao SS, Jia Y, Zhang M, Su JP, Liu G, Hwang TS, Bailey ST, Huang D.  Optical coherence tomography angiography.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57:OCT27-36.  PMCID:  PMC4968919.


Pechauer AD, Tan O, Liu L, Jia Y, Hou V, Hills W, Huang D.  Retinal blood flow response to hyperoxia measured with en face Doppler optical coherence tomography.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57:OCT141-145.  PMCID:  PMC4968776.


Ma JX, Tang M, Wang L, Weikert MP, Huang D, Koch DD.  Comparison of newer IOL power calculation methods for eyes with previous radial keratotomy.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57:OCT162-168.  PMCID:  PMC4968777.


Yu J, Gu P, Zong Y, Xu H, Wang X, Sun X, Jiang C, Xie B, Jia Y, and Huang D.  Relationship between retinal perfusion and retinal thickness in healthy subjects:  an optical coherence tomography angiography study.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57:OCT204-210.  PMCID:  PMC49687770.


Tan O, Liu L, Zhang X, Morrison JC, Huang D.  Glaucoma increases retinal surface contour variability as measured by optical coherence tomography.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57:OCT438-433.  PMCID:  PMC4968915.


Yarmohammadi A, Zangwill LM, Diniz-Filho A, Suh MH, Manalastas P, Fatehee N, Yousefi S, Belghith A, Saunders LJ, Medeiros FA, Huang D, Weinreb RN.  Optical coherence tomography angiography vessel density in healthy, glaucoma suspect, and glaucoma eyes.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57:OCT451-459.  PMCID:  PMC4968912.


Wang M, Zhou Y, Gao SS, Liu W, Huang Y, Huang D, Jia Y.  Evaluating polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy with optical coherence tomography angiography.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57:OCT526-532.  PMCID:  PMC4970807.


Tang M, Li Y, Chamberlain W, Loie DJ, Schallhorn JM, Huang D,.  Differentiating Keratoconus and Corneal Warpage by Analyzing Focal Change Patterns in Corneal Topography, Pachymetry, and Epithelial Thickness Maps.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57:OCT544-549.  PMCID:  PMC4978086.

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