Nigerian Born Scientist and professor of radiology and biomedical engineering Dr. Samuel Achilefu is the 2014 St.Louis Award recipient for creating cancer-visualizing glasses.
Dr. Achilefu, and his team developed the imaging technology in cancer diagnosis into a wearable night vision-like goggles so surgeons could see the cancer cells while operating.
BeforeDr. Achilefu invention, scientist virtually were operating in the dark. as quoted in Bloomberg businessweek.
The glasses work by injecting an infrared fluorescent marker into the patient’s bloodstream. Afterwards the doctor is able to inspect tumors and abnormal cell growth.
This month, the goggles have been used on humans for the first time by surgeons at the Washington University School of Medicine.
“The goggles function fantastically,” says Ryan Fields, a surgical oncologist who is collaborating with Dr. Achilefu to improve on the technology.
Julie Margenthaler, a breast cancer surgeon, says tens of thousands of women who had had breast cancer lumpectomies go back for second operations every year because of the inability to see the microscopic extent of the tumours.
“Imagine what it would mean if these glasses eliminated the need for follow-up surgery and the associated pain, inconvenience and anxiety.”
“Making a difference in society should be the goal of everybody,” Dr. Achilefu