Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Obama Honors Pakistani-American With Nation's Top Technology Medal

President Obama has honored Dr. Mark Salman Humayun of Pakistani origin with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation at a White House ceremony recently, according to a USC Eye Institute press release.

Dr. Humayun's "bionic eye" offers a solution for those who have the inherited retinal degenerative disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Known as the Argus II, it uses a camera mounted on special glasses that sends a signal to an electronic receiver with electrodes that are implanted in and around the eye. The electrodes send signals to the retina that stimulate the retina and then these retinal impulses travel through the optic nerve to the brain where they are interpreted as images.

Dr. Humayun's "bionic eye" received approval from the FDA in the U.S. in 2013 and since then the USC Eye Institute has been one of the centers of excellence for patients receiving this implant. Dr. Humayun has trained ophthalmologic surgeons worldwide in implanting the Argus device that has been in use in Europe since 2011 and was also recently approved for implantation in Australia, according to USC Keck Institute.

Born in Pakistan, Dr. Mark Salman Humayun is grandson of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's personal physician Dr. Ilahi Bakhsh, according to a story by Anjum Niaz of Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.  Dr. Humayun now leads the USC Eye Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where he is Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering. The Humayun family came to America in 1972. Dr. Humayun received his MD degree from Duke University, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from University of North Carolina followed by clinical training in ophthalmology at Duke Medical Center as well as the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Humayun with President Obama at White House Award Ceremony

The news of Dr. Humayun's achievement comes on the heels of another Pakistani-American Dr. Nergis Mavalwala's contribution to discovery of gravitational waves that has been widely recognized. Mavalvala and her colleagues are credited with developing an ultrasensitive telescope designed to catch glimpses of gravitational waves. Albert Einstein predicted the existence of these ripples in spacetime nearly a century ago, but they haven’t been observed directly yet, according to the Science Magazine. Theoretically a consequence of violent cosmic events—the collisions of black holes, the explosive deaths of stars, or even the big bang—gravitational waves could provide a brand new lens for studying the universe, according to the magazine.

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23 comments:

Rizwan K. said...

So, a grandson of Pakistan's founder gets professionally recognized in the US now !

Thanks for sharing.

Riaz Haq said...

Rizwan: "So, a grandson of Pakistan's founder gets professionally recognized in the US now !"


No, Humayun is not the grandson of Pakistan's founder; he's grandson of the founder's physician.

Shah said...

Sir I Posted You A Week Ago Why Are You Not Writing About Dr Nargis Mawalwala and Dr Imran Khan(Gravitational Waves) or Dr Sameer Iqbal(Cancer)

Also In The Donald Trump Post I Had Asked About Whether One Of The Powerful SuperPAC Financers of Jeb Bush Muneer Sattar Is A Pakistani?

You Should Also Write About Aurangzeb Khan and Dr Safi Qureshi(AST Research) The Tech Wizard

Riaz Haq said...

Shah: "You A Week Ago Why Are You Not Writing About Dr Nargis Mawalwala.... "


Thank you for the suggestion.

I am not a full-time blogger.

I write what I can when I can, time-permitting.

r_sundar said...

Glad to see something positive. But he has nothing to do with Pakistan per se, as his entire education was here in the US.

Anonymous said...

Knew some Indian would find some thing to criticize, so thanks Sundar for living up to the expectation. V. S. Nepaul was born/raised/educated/wrote outside India, but is considered an Indian because he won a Nobel. Actually if a Nobel Laurete just flies over India, he is considered an Indian, but when it comes to Pakistan you guys can't handle any good news.

There is a reason why foreigners ruled you for 1000 years.

Zamir

r_sundar said...

I have no idea who V. S. Nepaul is, and I don't care much about India either.

Anonymous said...

Sundar,

you should get educate yourself before posting comments.

Zamir

Riaz Haq said...

Zamir: "V. S. Nepaul was born/raised/educated/wrote outside India, but is considered an Indian because he won a Nobel. Actually if a Nobel Laurete just flies over India, he is considered an Indian, but when it comes to Pakistan you guys can't handle any good news. "

I think VS Naipaul is a very sensitive topic with Indians. Here are some of the things he's said that have drawn India's ire:

"Indians defecate everywhere"

"The dot on an Indian woman's forehead signifies an empty head"

“India needs a new code, but it has none. There are no rules; and India is discovering again that it is cruel and horribly violent.”

Being an equal opportunity offender, Naipaul has also offended a lot of Muslims by his books about Islam and Muslims.

r_sundar said...

Zamir
This thread is about Dr.Humayun, not about Naipaul.
Sundar

Anonymous said...

Sundar,

This blog is about positive achievements of Pakistan and Pakistanis. But a certain group, with massive inferiority complex, thinks that anything positive about Pakistan is automatically a negation of their country and its failed ideals. Constant criticism is the hallmark of this group. You unfortunately did the same.

Anonymous said...

Riaz Sb.,

Thanks for the comments. Good to see that Naipaul is capable of seeing the truth, lately Salman Rushdi has also joined the group, was a darling of Indian's when he was talking against Islam/Muslims/Pakistan. Now he has started doing the same to Indians.

r_sundar said...

Inferiority complex?
All I said is, if his Alma mater was from Pakistan, it adds more pride, than the mere fact that he was born in Pakistan.
Somehow most Pakistani's think all Indian's would try to demean them, but this is just a myth. I frankly don't differentiate Pakistanis & Indians at a personal level.

Anonymous said...

Sundar,

Yes inferiority complex. Just wondering, had he been an Indian would you have passed the same comment about his education?

Zamir

Anonymous said...

Sunder,
"Somehow most Pakistani's think all Indian's would try to demean them, but this is just a myth." Not sure about your background, but this is not a myth. Just check the history of this blog (not to mentioned hundreds of others) and you will find the truth. Most Indians are of the opinion that if anything good happens in Pakistan, it automatically means India's failure, validation of TNT, etc. etc. This is as if we have a zero sum game. The success of one is the failure of other. This is more prevelent among Indians.

In reality both countries are barely above Sub-Saharan Africa on HDI index.

Zamir

r_sundar said...


>>Yes inferiority complex. Just wondering, had he been an Indian would you have passed the same comment about his education?
Absolutely. Nationality has nothing to do with this.

Mark S. Humayun is for all practical purposes just an American.

CanadianBoy said...

r_sundar said...
"Absolutely. Nationality has nothing to do with this.

Mark S. Humayun is for all practical purposes just an American."


No he is not, under the Natural-born-citizen clause he cannot stand in election to the office of President or Vice President of the United States. A privileged afforded to natural born Americans. He was born in Pakistan to Pakistani parents, simple as that.

Iqbal said...

Correction: Pakistan is in the LOW HDI category with most sub Saharan African countries. Nepal is ahead by 10 basis points and Bangladesh, Bhutan and India are in the MEDIUM HDI category from 3 to 15 notches above Pakistan.

Correction: When it comes to a verbal or written showdown both countries are equally at fault. The problem Pakistan faces internationally; however, is its image of a land of many terrorists and that of a duplicitous terrorist haven. That image will not improve even if you highlight the many negatives of India.

Riaz Haq said...

Iqbal: "The problem Pakistan faces internationally; however, is its image of a land of many terrorists and that of a duplicitous terrorist haven. That image will not improve even if you highlight the many negatives of India. "


It's part of the powerful western media myth making machine that can demonize or lionize peoples and nations depending on what they see as being in the best western interest.

Here's an excerpt from Pankaj Mishra's Bloomberg Op Ed "Pakistan’s Unplanned Revolution Rewrites Its Future":

"I.. saw much in this recent visit (to Pakistan) that did not conform to the main Western narrative for South Asia -- one in which India is steadily rising and Pakistan rapidly collapsing. Born of certain geopolitical needs and exigencies, this vision was always most useful to those who have built up India as an investment destination and a strategic counterweight to China....Seen through the narrow lens of the West’s security and economic interests, the great internal contradictions and tumult within these two large nation-states disappear. In the Western view, the credit-fueled consumerism among the Indian middle class appears a much bigger phenomenon than the extraordinary Maoist uprising in Central India".


http://www.riazhaq.com/2015/02/india-rising-pakistan-rapidly-collapsing.html

mahesh said...

Pankaj Mishra is entitled to his views and that is completely acceptable. That versus, for example, former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani or the exiled Tarek Fatah or the many other Pakistanis who are easily dismissed as "traitors". From giving birth to the Taliban or giving safe haven to Bin Laden and add to that the recent terrorist Tashfeen Malik - all of that gives Pakistan a bad image. Pakistan may not be "collapsing" but there is so much covertly or hidden about Pakistan that the international community worries about today.

Riaz Haq said...

mahesh: "That versus, for example, former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani or the exiled Tarek Fatah or the many other Pakistanis who are easily dismissed as "traitors"."

How does this compare with lots of Indian citizens being branded "anti-national" every day and being told to go to Pakistan by India's top politicians and Modi government ministers?


As to comparing Pankaj Mishra with Tarek Fatah and Husain Haqqani, let me ask you this:

Has Pankaj Mishra ever called for the disintegration of his country of birth as Tarek Fatah has of Pakistan?

Has Pankaj Mishra ever written Op Eds in western press calling for not supplying weapons to his country as Husain Haqqani did in a Wall Street Journal Op Ed tiled " Why Are We Sending This Attack Helicopter to Pakistan?"

Also check out the following:

http://www.riazhaq.com/2016/02/tarek-fatah-vs-riaz-haq-on-india.html

http://www.riazhaq.com/2015/08/is-trump-getting-foreign-policy-advice.html

http://www.riazhaq.com/2014/04/challenging-gall-haqqani-paul-narrative.html

Ravi Krishna said...

Pankaj Mishra vs Husain Haqanni Farid Zakaria Tom Friedman is a hopeless case. Ypu can quote him, while we are happy with the latter.

Dr. Durrani said...

It is a great treatment by Dr. Humayun for the entire humanity. I am perplexed by some of the comments though. What difference does it make if anyone considers it a and achievement of a Pakistani American?. The prefix Pakistani is there that clearly shows he is in naturalized American citizen. Does it take away any credit from America or for that matter any other country?
As a matter of fact, there are tons of Pakistanis and Pakistani Americans doing a great job in America and elsewhere and we are proud of their contribution.

Dr. Durrani