Young Investigator Award

The IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award was established to honor an individual who has made outstanding technical contributions to photonics (broadly defined) prior to his or her 35th birthday. Nominees must be under 35 years of age on Sept. 30th of the year in which the nomination is made. Funding for this award is sponsored by the IEEE Photonics Society. The award consists of a certificate of recognition and an honorarium of $2000. The presentation will be made at the IEEE Photonics Conference, being held September 29 - Octpber 3, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

2019 Honoree

Junjie Yao 3

Junjie Yao

For pioneering novel photoacoustic imaging that allows probing living tissue functions at unprecedented accuracy, sensitivity, and speed.



Dr. Junjie Yao is currently Assistant Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, and a faculty member of Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy, Duke Cancer Institute, Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, and Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics. Dr. Yao received his B.E. (2006) and M.E. (2008) degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, and his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering at Washington University (2013), St. Louis. Dr. Yao’s research interest is in photoacoustic tomography (PAT) technologies in life sciences, especially in functional brain imaging and early cancer detection. He (co-)invented photoacoustic Doppler-bandwidth flowmetry, photoacoustic oxygen metabolic microscopy, super-resolution photoacoustic microscopy, fast-functional photoacoustic microscopy, and reversibly-switchable photoacoustic tomography. Dr. Yao’s lab pioneers on developing break-through PAT technologies with novel and advanced imaging performance to interrogate biological tissue clearer, deeper, and with more functions. On top of the technological advancements, Dr. Yao’s lab is devoted to serve the broad life science and medical communities with matching PAT systems for various research and clinical needs, especially for studying tumor angiogenesis, cancer hypoxia, and brain disorders. More research at

: Oct. 4

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