Zhou elected Fellow of Optica, American Heart Association

Chao Zhou develops novel biophotonic technologies for ophthalmology, developmental biology, tissue engineering

Beth Miller  
Chao Zhou


Chao Zhou, professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has been elected a Fellow of Optica and the American Heart Association.

Optica, formerly known as the Optical Society of America or OSA, is an international organization at the forefront of the optics and photonics field. The title of Fellow recognizes individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the advancement of optics and photonics in areas including research, education, engineering, business and society.

The honor recognizes Chao's outstanding achievements that help shape the future of optics and photonics. He is one of 129 newly elected members from 26 countries in the 2024 class. He was selected for pioneering advancements in parallel OCT imaging technologies and the development of non-invasive optogenetic pacing techniques in animal models.

In addition, Zhou was elected a Fellow of the American Heart Association. This fellowship recognizes members for excellence, innovative and sustained contributions in the areas of scholarship, practice and/or education, and volunteer service within the association.

Zhou’s lab develops novel optical imaging technologies for biomedical applications, especially in developing optical coherence tomography (OCT) and microscopy (OCM) technologies to perform “optical biopsy” and generate 3D in situ images of tissue morphology, function and pathological status in real-time without the need to remove and process specimens. His lab is working to apply these technologies to various biological and clinical applications, including ophthalmology, cardiac research, developmental biology, and tissue engineering. He holds multiple U.S. and international patents for his inventions. He is an Editorial Board Member for Communications Biology, and associate editor for Photonic Research, and IEEE Photonics Journal.

The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 165 full-time faculty, 1,420 undergraduate students, 1,614 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.

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