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Dr. Victor X.D. Yang

Professor Victor Yang smiles and stands in front of a whiteboard and projector screen in a classroom.
416-979-5000 ext. 2143

Areas of Academic Interest

Optical coherence tomography

Machine vision image guidance

Molecular fluorescence imaging

Angiographic imaging

Medical robotics

Targeted laser ablation

Augmented reality

Translational medical device development


Year University Degree
2006 University of Toronto MD
2004 University of Toronto PhD
1998 University of Toronto MASc
1997 University of Toronto BSc

Courses Taught

Course Code Course
BME 777 Emerging Biophotonics Topics in Biomedical Engineering
BME 70A/B Biomedical Fourth Year Capstone Design
BME 704 Radiation Device Design


As a fourth-year engineering student, Victor Yang was already developing surgical tools for use in operating rooms. But when it came to understanding the needs of the user, a practising neurosurgeon and Yang’s supervisor, there was a disconnect. “We both spoke English, but we still had a language barrier: I spoke engineering, and he spoke neurosurgery,” says Yang. The solution? Learn to speak both languages.

Now with both a PhD and MD under his belt, Dr. Yang considers himself both an engineer and a neurosurgeon, with different priorities. “I can work very hard and, in a month, perform 20 surgeries, but the device my lab designed did more than 100 surgeries in the last month. The impact as an engineer is far greater.” Used for intraoperative imaging during neurosurgery, the device has been commercialized by 7D Surgical (external link)  and has used machine vision to guide the placement of 10,000 implants into 2,000 patients globally. Next on the horizon is a surgical robot that relies on GPS coordinates to perform a critical part of surgery under a surgeon’s instruction. It’s even shown potential to identify wrong-level spine surgery – which necessitates a secondary surgery and often results in litigation – before it happens. “The beauty about engineering is that it’s not like taking a moonshot to get to the moon. It’s the incremental improvement of something, every day.”

 Victor's LinkedIn Profile (external link) 
 Victor's Twitter Profile (external link) 

Professor Victor Yang sits in his research laboratory wearing hospital scrubs and a scrub cap.

“You have a need, you develop a solution and it has to be economically viable. Without the third piece, you’re a scientist, not an engineer.”

  • Congress of Neurosurgeons Innovator of the Year Award (Team), 2018 
  • George Armstrong Peters Prize, University of Toronto - Department of Surgery, 2017
  • Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award (Team), 2017
  • Canada Research Chair in Biophotonics and Bioengineering, Tier II, 2008-2018
  • Pasarikovski CR, Ramjist J, da Costa L, Black SE, Yang V, Optical coherence tomography imaging after endovascular thrombectomy for basilar artery occlusion: report of 3 cases, Journal of Neurosurgery, 1:1-6, (In Press), (external link) , 2019.
  • Jivraj J, Deorajh R, Lai P, Chen C, Nguyen N, Ramjist J, Yang VXD, Robotic laser osteotomy through penscriptive structured light visual servoing, International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, 14(5):809-818, 2019.
  • Jakubovic R, Guha D, Gupta S, Lu M, Jivraj J, Standish B, Leung M, Mariampillai A, Lee K, Siegler P, Skowron P, Farooq H, Nguyen N, Alarcon J, Deorajh R, Ramjist J, Ford M, Howard P, Phan N, da Costa L, Heyn C, Tan G, George R, Cadotte D, Mainprize T, Yee A, Yang V, High speed, high density intraoperative 3D Optical Topographical Imaging with Efficient Registration to MRI and CT for craniospinal surgical navigation, Nature Scientific Reports, 8(1):14894, 2018.
  • Chen C, Yang VXD, Gabor optical coherence tomographic angiography (GOCTA) (Part I): human retinal imaging in vivo, Biomedical Optics Express, 8(12):5724-5734, 2017.
  • Chen C, Cheng KHY, Jakubovic R, Jivraj J, Ramjist J, Deorajh R, Gao W, Barnes E, Chin L, Yang VXD, High speed, wide velocity dynamic range Doppler optical coherence tomography (Part V): Optimal utilization of multi-beam scanning for Doppler and speckle variance microvascular imaging, Optics Express, 25(7):7761-7777, 2017.
  • Member, Professional Engineers Ontario
  • Member, Canadian Medical Association
  • Member, Ontario Medical Association
  • Member, Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation
  • Member, Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • Lifetime Member, SPIE 
  • Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Member, Optical Society of America