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Featured Profile: Gang Yao

Gang Yao

University of Missouri optics researcher Dr. Gang Yao sees medical innovations.

For more than a decade, Yao collaborated with child health researcher Judith Miles to create a device that could screen young children for autism spectrum disorder. Their invention, which measures how the pupil responds to light, can be used to collect high-resolution pupil images on infants and toddlers.

Yao is also investigating how optical coherence tomography (OCT) could be used in medical imaging. OCT is similar to ultrasound, but it uses light instead of sound. Originally the technology was used to create images of the retina in the eye; now medical researchers are using it in multiple areas of the body. Yao is working to expand its utility even further by accurately measuring tissue polarization properties. Polarization exists in numerous tissues including muscle and neural fibers, and the technology holds great promise for musculoskeletal, dental and neural imaging, and more.

In 2014, Yao received the Edmund Optics Gold Educational Award. Only a few recipients are chosen globally each year for their achievements in optics-related research.

Dr. Gang Yao is a professor bioengineering with appointments in the colleges of Engineering and Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine