An ophthalmologist and research engineer at Oregon Health & Science University has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition for co-inventing a medical imaging technology that is commonly used to diagnose and guide treatment for the leading causes of blindness.
David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., is among 124 new members who have been elected to the academy, which is among the highest professional distinctions for engineers. He is believed to be the first OHSU representative to become an elected National Academy of Engineering member.
Huang co-invented optical coherence tomography, or OCT, which is used in about 30 million imaging procedures annually. The technology is used to diagnose macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, and also helps physicians decide how to best treat patients with blindness-causing disease. It is also increasingly used to evaluate treatments for neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.
Huang has been widely recognized for co-inventing OCT in 1991, when he was an M.D./Ph.D. student at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The National Academy of Engineering previously recognized Huang in 2017, when it awarded him the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize. His other honors include an António Champalimaud Vision Award, the largest scientific and humanitarian prize in vision research, and a Visionary Prize from the Sanford and Susan Greenberg Prize to End Blindness.
As an ophthalmologist, Huang specializes in cornea and refractive surgery. He is a professor of ophthalmology and biomedical engineering in the OHSU School of Medicine, and is the inaugural holder of the Wold Family Endowed Chair in Ophthalmic Imaging. Huang serves as the associate director and the director of research of the OHSU Casey Eye Institute. He also leads the OHSU Center for Ophthalmic Optics and Lasers, which focuses on diagnostic imaging and therapeutic laser applications. Huang joined OHSU in 2010.
He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from MIT, and a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree from the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. He completed ophthalmology residency training at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Eye Institute and cornea fellowship training at Emory University.