President Barack Obama has bestowed the highest honour on the American innovator who invented LASIK eye surgery. Professor Gholam Peyman, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, during a ceremony at the White House on Friday 1 February.
Prof. Peyman is a professor of Optical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix and a long-standing member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He was among 12 researchers to receive the honour.
“When Gholam Peyman first accepted a position at the office of the University of Illinois, his office was a converted restroom,” President Obama said. “But he carved out enough space for himself, his secretary, and his lab equipment and today he is known as the father of LASIK eye surgery.”
“We are so grateful to all of you,” Obama said to the award winners. “The incredible contributions you’ve made have enhanced our lives in immeasurable ways that are practical but also inspirational. And so we know that you are going to continue to inspire and, in many ways, teach the next generation of inventors and scientists who will discover things that we can’t even dream of at this point. Thank you so much for everything that you’ve done.”
Dr. Peyman’s inventions cover a broad range of novel medical devices, intro-ocular drug delivery systems, surgical techniques, laser and optical instruments, and new methods for diagnosis and treatment
An ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon, Dr. Peyman has more than 135 patients. Although he is widely known for inventing the LASIK vision correction procedure, Dr. Peyman’s inventions cover a broad range of novel medical devices, intro-ocular drug delivery systems, surgical techniques, laser and optical instruments, and new methods for diagnosis and treatment.
He is also credited with developing the first pressure-controlled valve – now known as the Krupin valve for glaucoma surgery – and the first telescopic IOL for patients with macular disease. He was also among the first to implant an artificial silicone retina in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.
Dr. Peyman has been a pioneering force in laser and photodynamic therapy and studies on intraocular drug delivery and refractive and vitreoretinal surgery. He also established the techniques of eye-wall resection and endoresection for intraocular tumors, and was the first to perform a retinochoroidal biopsy and to transplant retinal pigment epithelial cells for age-related macular degeneration.