Tibor Juhasz, PhD

ALISA VIEJO, Calif.— Tibor Juhasz, PhD, founder and CEO of ViaLase, Inc., was among five researchers who received the 2022 Golden Goose Award for scientific breakthroughs leading to the development of bladeless LASIK, an innovation that revolutionized refractive surgery. The award, which was presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), honors scientists whose federally funded research has unexpectedly benefited society. Dr. Juhasz shares the award with collaborators Detao Du of Rayz Technologies; Gérard Mourou of École Polytechnique; Ron Kurtz, MD, president and CEO of RxSight; and Donna Strickland, University of Waterloo and president of Optica.

Alongside his fellow researchers, Dr. Juhasz discovered the femtosecond laser’s capacity to create ocular tissue incisions with micron-level precision without damaging adjacent tissue. This discovery eventually led to the creation of the company IntraLase, co-founded by Dr. Juhasz and Dr. Kurtz in 1997, that forever changed the refractive surgery landscape for ophthalmic surgeons and patients alike. Femtosecond laser’s precision and safety profile has led to its popularity, with more than 30 million people benefitting from the technology to date.

Dr. Juhasz continues to move femtosecond laser technology forward at the helm of ViaLase, a venture capital-backed, clinical stage medical technology company focused on disrupting the conventional glaucoma treatment paradigm with the introduction of a truly non-invasive, image-guided femtosecond laser treatment.

“On behalf of all of us at ViaLase, I’d like to congratulate Tibor, and his fellow award winners, on receiving the prestigious Golden Goose Award and for their contributions to science and vision correction, which have improved the lives of millions of people around the world,” said Tom Frinzi, executive director, ViaLase, Inc. “Femtosecond laser completely revolutionized the field of vision correction and has played an important role in advanced cataract surgery, as well. With Tibor and ViaLase’s incredibly talented and experienced team, we intend to transform the glaucoma space by incorporating femtosecond laser into routine glaucoma surgery.”

ViaLase’s novel femtosecond laser image-guided high-precision trabeculotomy (FLigHT) procedure leverages the precision and accuracy of both OCT imaging and femtosecond laser technology to provide a noninvasive procedure that can be performed by a skilled surgeon.

“It is an honor to share this award alongside Ron, Detao, Donna, and Gérard,” said Dr. Juhasz. “Thirty years ago, we had only an inkling of what our discoveries could lead to. Today, we’ve seen an industry as well as patient vision care transformed by femtosecond laser. Science and the ability to transform patients’ lives have always inspired me to push the envelope on innovation. My goal is to translate past successes into another area of eyecare—glaucoma.”

The Golden Goose Award spotlights federally funded, scientific research that may have appeared obscure, sounded funny, or for which the results were unforeseen at the outset but ultimately, and often serendipitously, led to breakthroughs. The award is presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society.