COOL Lab News

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.”

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:

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.

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.

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