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Adolf Fercher chaired the Institute of Medical Physics at the Medical University of Vienna (1986–2008) and is now professor emeritus.
He pioneered ophthalmic interferometry, demonstrating the first measurement of the axial length of a human eye using low-coherence interferometry (LCI; 1986) and one of the first retinal OCT images of the living human eye (1993), and he is the intellectual father of the first commercial LCI ocular biometry system. In 1995 Dr. Fercher demonstrated, together with Christoph K. Hitzenberger, the first application of spectral domain (SD) LCI to intraocular ranging, enabling rapid 3D OCT imaging and modern OCT technology.
Dr. Fercher is the author or coauthor of some 125 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals. He studied physics at Vienna University of Technology and received his PhD in 1972. In 1968–1975 he was junior scientist at Carl Zeiss AG, where he worked on optical testing with computer holograms and in holographic interferometry. In 1975–1986 he was professor at the University of Essen, where he conducted research on laser speckle and biomedical applications of interferometry.