The Advanced Ocular Imaging Program (AOIP) was created in 2009 to promote the development and use of translational ocular imaging tools to improve detection, diagnosis, and management of eye disease. The founding directors were Joseph Carroll, PhD and Dennis Han, MD, and their initial focus was to create a culture of collaboration between our research faculty and physicians. What emerged was a truly unique infrastructure, where the common language was imaging. Expanding the arsenal of imaging equipment in the clinic, bringing the latest ocular imaging technology into the research labs, and establishing processes through which these resources could be shared were some of the biggest investments early on.
In 2011, Dr. Alfredo Dubra was recruited to the AOIP. Dr. Dubra had collaborated with Dr. Carroll since 2007 on the development and application of ophthalmic adaptive optics technology. This strength in adaptive optics imaging, specifically our commitment to apply the technology with the patient in mind, is a cornerstone of the AOIP. In conjunction with Dr. Dubra’s recruitment, the Department of Ophthalmology made a major investment to renovate the existing laboratory space on the 8th floor of the Eye Institute to house the AOIP. A dedicated waiting area for patients and their families, space for four adaptive optics imaging systems, numerous image processing workstations, four rooms for additional imaging equipment, and a separate research and development lab comprise the AOIP facilities. In addition, since Dr. Dubra’s arrival, there has been additional investment in the most valuable resource of the AOIP – people. The AOIP currently consists of over 40 faculty, staff, and students. In January of 2013, Dr. Dubra replaced Dr. Han and now co-directs the program with Dr. Carroll.
While the AOIP provides a solid platform for innovation, collaboration and discovery in ocular imaging, there remains the commitment to grow and expand. From image interpretation and analysis services, to offering hands-on training on new imaging technology or simply individual consultation on challenging clinical cases, we will accommodate the expanding needs of vision scientists and clinicians in an effort to advance knowledge and improve vision through advanced imaging.