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Joseph Izatt Elected SPIE Fellow

SPIE, the international society for the science and application of light, has elected Duke biomedical engineering professor Joseph Izatt a fellow of the society. This year SPIE chose only 72 new fellows worldwide.

Fellows are members of distinction who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging. They are honored for their technical achievement, for their service to the general optics

community, and to SPIE in particular. More than 500 SPIE members have become fellows since the Society’s inception in 1955.

“The annual recognition of fellows provides an opportunity for us to acknowledge outstanding members for their service to the general optics community,” said Kevin G. Harding, SPIE president in a news release dated April 16, 2008.

Izatt was recognized for achievements in optical coherence tomography. SPIE characterized Izatt in the news release as "one of the leading researchers" in both the basic development of optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging methods and in the investigation of their clinical and research applications.

Izatt’s work has ranged from the theoretical description of new physical models of light scattering and optics to the engineering design, construction, and clinical evaluation of novel imaging systems. He participated in the early development of the first OCT system capable of clinical imaging, and created the optical design for an endoscope-compatible OCT system, which substantially extends the range of sites in the body to which OCT can now be applied. Izatt and his group developed the color Doppler OCT system and demonstrated its utility in retinal and skin imaging in humans. At Duke, Izatt has been a pioneer of a major shift in OCT technology, which enables much faster two-dimensional scanning as well as clinically useful three-dimensional OCT. As a result of these advances, Izatt has founded the spin-off company Bioptigen Inc. Bioptigen was recognized for a 2008 Frost & Sullivan Award for Research Excellence earlier this year.

Izatt has authored over 90 refereed publications in peer-reviewed journals, given nearly 60 invited lectures, and received 16 patents in the field of biomedical optics.

Since 1998, he has been key to growing the Coherence-Domain Optical Techniques conference, part of the SPIE Photonics West Biomedical Optics Symposium. Izatt has chaired or co-chaired 11 SPIE conferences, written over 60 SPIE conference papers, and served on the editorial board of the SPIE Journal of Biomedical Optics from 2003 to 2006.