September 15, 2017
Envisioning a new world
By Rheagan Rizio
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has awarded Mark Humayun, co-director of the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute and director of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, with the 2018 IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award.
“It is always very nice to be recognized by your peers and a great honor for me,” said Humayun, who is also a USC Stem Cell principal investigator.
Humayun, a professor of ophthalmology, biomedical engineering, and integrative anatomical sciences, who is a joint faculty between the USC Keck School of Medicine and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, received the award for his work in bioelectronic retinal implants. In particular, he has focused on developing an artificial retina which restores sight to patients who are blind, called the Argus II. The implant has been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S., as well as in Europe, and the USC Roski Eye Institute was the first US clinical site to implant the Argus II.
In recognition of his groundbreaking work, Humayun, who also holds the Cornelius J. Pings Chair in Biomedical Sciences, was previously awarded the National Medal for Technology and Innovation, presented to him by President Barack Obama at the White House in May 2016 for his work in sight restoration. This award is granted to American innovators who have contributed to the creation of new technology that improve the world.
Established in 2010, the IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award is sponsored by the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. It is awarded for outstanding contributions to the field of biomedical engineering.
Past winners include USC Viterbi’s Kirk Shung, Dean’s Professor in Biomedical Engineering and an expert in neural electronics. He won the award in 2016 for contributions to transducer technology and ultrasound imaging.
“The fact that two of the six total winners of the IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award are at USC is evidence of the outstanding research to advance technologies for healthcare that is being conducted here,” said Ellis Meng, chair of USC Viterbi’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. “The awards show the excellence in our biomedical imaging and devices as well as neuroengineering research areas.”