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Yuankai Tao, PhD


Yuankai Tao, PhD

Appointed: 2013

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Yuankai Tao, PhD
Department: Ophthalmic Research
Assistant Staff
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code i31
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Yuankai Tao, PhD
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Assistant Staff
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code i31
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Type of Doctor:
Adults Only

Biographical Sketch

My research has focused on the development of novel optical imaging systems by leveraging technologies in engineering and biomedical sciences to create multimodal imaging tools for the clinical diagnosis and treatment monitoring of pathologies in ophthalmology, gastroenterology, and oncology. Optical imaging techniques are particularly attractive for visualizing tissue morphology, biological dynamics, and disease pathogenesis because they allow for noninvasive access to subcellular-resolution diagnostic information. Optical coherence tomography is a novel imaging modality that allows for fast, noncontact, high-resolution volumetric imaging of weakly scattering tissue. Nonlinear microscopy has advantages of high resolution, molecular-specificity, and improved imaging depth and contrast over conventional white-light and fluorescence microscopes, enabling endogenous and exogenous contrast imaging in both in vivo and ex vivo specimens. Finally, functional optical imaging techniques, such as spectroscopy and Doppler velocimetry, enhance optical contrast by detecting properties of tissues, such as oxygenation and blood flow, that are correlated with cellular metabolism and early indicators of disease.

Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral Fellowship
Cambridge, MA USA
Doctorate - Duke University
Biomedical Engineering
Durham, NC USA
Undergraduate - Duke University
Biomedical Engineering/Electrical Engineering
Durham, NC USA

Specialty Interests

Biomedical optics, Optical coherence tomography, Ophthalmology Oncology

Awards & Honors

  • NIH LRP, 2012
  • NIH F32 NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2011
  • Santec & OCT News Student Travel Grant, 2011
  • John T. Chambers Graduate Fellowship, 2008

Innovations & Patents

  • JA Izatt, CA Toth, YK Tao, and JP Ehlers. “Systems enhancements for ophthalmic surgical microscope mounted optical coherence tomography.” Invention Disclosure Filed (2011)
  • JA Izatt, CA Toth and YK Tao. “Systems and methods for ophthalmic surgical microscope mounted optical coherence tomography.” Invention Disclosure Filed (2010)
  • JA Izatt and YK Tao. “Systems and methods for spectrally encoded confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy.” Invention Disclosure Filed (2010)
  • JA Izatt, YK Tao, MG Giacomelli, and WJ Choi. “Systems and methods for improved spatial contrast optical imaging using structured illumination.” Invention Disclosure Filed (2009)
  • JA Izatt, YK Tao, and AM Davis. “Methods for single-pass volumetric bidirectional blood flow imaging spectral domain optical coherence tomography using a modified Hilbert transform.” US Patent Application No. 60/047,518 (2008)
  • JA Izatt, YK Tao, and M Zhao. “Methods, systems, and computer program products for removing undesired artifacts in Fourier domain optical coherence tomography (FDOCT) systems using integrating buckets.” US Patent Application No. 60/880,916 (2007)


  • The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)$0$0International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE)
  • Optical Society of America (OSA)

Specialty in Diseases and Conditions

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 9/22/2015, Dr. Tao has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Languages Spoken

  • English