Austin Roorda Awarded Rank Prize

For the development of instruments that use adaptive optics technologies to capture high-resolution images of the living human retina

We are thrilled to announce that UC Berkeley Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science professor Austin Roorda has been awarded the 2024 Rank Prize for Optoelectronics. The 2024 Rank Prize for Optoelectronics is awarded to four internationally leading scientists for the development of instruments that use adaptive optics technologies to capture high-resolution images of the living human retina. Their pioneering research has generated new fundamental insights into the structure and function of the human eye in both health and disease as well as new clinical interventions to remedy sight loss from common disorders. Congratulations Dr. Roorda on this prestigious and well-deserved award!

“I am tremendously honoured to receive this award along with such an accomplished and illustrious team. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to play a role in the development and dissemination of this important technology. Thanks to the Rank Prize committee for recognizing adaptive optics as a paradigm-changing technology for ophthalmoscopy.” -- Austin Roorda

More About Dr. Roorda

Austin Roorda is a Professor at the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 1996 in Vision Science & Physics. He had the good fortune to secure a postdoctoral fellowship position in David Williams’ lab at the University of Rochester where he got to use the world’s first adaptive optics ophthalmoscope. Since that time, he has been pioneering new applications that leverage the microscopic access offered by adaptive optics and has been using them for basic and clinical science. In 2001, while he was faculty at the University of Houston College of Optometry, he invented the Adaptive Optics Scanning Light Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO), a platform that is now used widely for microscopic retinal imaging around the world. Notable awards include the Distinguished Alumni Award (University of Waterloo School of Optometry, 2007), the Glenn Fry Award (American Academy of Optometry, 2009), a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship (2014), an Alcon Research Institute Award (2016) and a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship (2020) from the University of Oxford.

The Roorda Lab

About the Rank Prize

Founded in 1972 by the British industrialist and philanthropist Lord J. Arthur Rank, the prestigious Rank Prize is awarded biennially in the fields of nutrition and optoelectronics. The Prize will be awarded formally at an event in London on 1 July 2024.

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Eric Craypo, Chief Communications Officer

About the Photo

Professor Austin Roorda in his lab on the UC Berkeley campus, pictured with the Adaptive Optics Scanning Light Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO). Photo by Elena Zhukova.