Pakistani-American Conferred With Top U.S. Honor

Dr. Humayun with U.S. President Obama. Photo: White House

The grandson of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s personal physician received top U.S. honors in the field of science, technology and innovation on May 19, 2016.

Mark Humayun was honored with National Medal of Technology and Innovation from U.S. President Barack Obama for invention, development and application of bio-electronics in medicine.

The achievement included a retinal prosthesis for restoring vision to the blind, thereby significantly improving patients’ quality of life.

As a co-inventor of Argus Series retina implants aimed at restoring sight to the blind, Humayun was the only ophthalmologist to have been elected a member of both U.S. National Academies of Medicine and Engineering.

Addressing the award ceremony, Obama said Humayun’s invention was inspired by his grandmother’s illness.

“When his diabetic grandmother lost her vision, he began studying to become an ophthalmologist, hoping he could save the sight of others,” adding, “Humayun helped create the ‘Argus II’, a ‘bionic eye’ that has restored vision to patients who’ve been blind for up to 50 years.”

“He says the moment when he witnessed someone seeing light and shapes, someone experiencing the miracle of sight for the first time in decades — those moments have been some of the happiest and most rewarding of his professional career. In his words — and I think no pun is intended — there wasn’t a dry eye in the operating room,” Obama added.

After partition, Humayun’s family had migrated from Jalandhar to Pakistan, with his grandfather Colonel Ilahi Bakhsh becoming Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s personal physician. Humayun’s family moved to United States in 1972 when he was nine years old.

( Source: The Tribune Express )

References:

Wikipedia - Mark S. Humayun

Mark Humayun - National Medals of Science, Technology & Innovation (video)

USC News - Mark Humayun receives the National Medal of Technology and Innovation

White House - President Obama Honors Nation’s Leading Scientists and Innovators

President Obama honors American scientists at the White House (video)


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