Jonathan Ophir, Ph.D.
Jonathan Ophir, Ph.D.

Jonathan Ophir, Ph.D., retired professor of diagnostic and interventional imaging, died Oct. 19, 2017. He was 72.

He graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in electrical engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Kansas, where he also completed his master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering.

He joined the medical school in 1980 as an assistant professor in the Department of Radiology and also held a faculty position as professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Biomedical Informatics from 1981-2001. He retired from UTHealth in 2012.

Dr. Ophir was a highly accomplished scientist with a long history of NIH grant funding and approximately 20 patents during his career. He was the inventor of ultrasound elastography, an imaging technique that is now a component of state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment throughout the world.

His work received international acclaim and resulted in major awards, including the Joseph Holmes Basic Science Pioneer Award of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the Terrance Matzuk Award for innovative research in the development of ultrasound technology, and the Academy of Radiology Research Distinguished Scientist Award.  He was an outstanding teacher and mentor for many graduate and post-graduate scientists, as well as faculty and residents. He and his wife, Karen, organized and maintained the highly respected International Conference on Ultrasonic Measurement and Imaging of Tissue Elasticity that continued for over 10 years.

“He was a brilliant innovator and investigator, who had a talent for making his discoveries usable and understandable by physicians and trainees,” said Susan John, M.D., chair of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging. “Dr. Ophir was an exceptional credit to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.  I am so grateful to have been able to know and work with him, and he will be missed.”

A memorial service will be held 11 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 5 at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral and Cremation Home, 411 Ranch Rd. 620 S., Lakeway, TX 78734.