Professors accepted to elite institute
Posted October 20, 2009 at 11:01 pm in News
Two USC professors were recently accepted into the Institute of Medicine, an honor that will afford them the chance to educate professionals about life-changing health issues and bring added recognition to USCâs medical research and health policy departments.
USCâs Dana Goldman and Mark Humayun were among 65 researchers elected to the Institute of Medicine this year.
The institute â an independent, non-profit organization and a branch of the National Academy of Sciences â educates both the professional and private sectors about issues of health and biomedical science.
Induction into the institute is the highest honor in the field of medicine aside from the Nobel Prize, said Yannis Yortsos, dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering.
âOut of the thousands of doctors and other biomedical engineers in the country, Mark was one of the 60 or so. Itâs a very high honor,â Yortsos said. âItâs a high honor for the university, a high honor for the school of medicine, and also a high honor for the school of engineering because Mark has joint appointment within the school and is a biomedical engineer himself.â
Humayun, a professor of ophthalmology, said he did not even know he was nominated until he received his acceptance.
âIt was very exciting and a total surprise,â he said. âThere are so many people in the institute who are not in your field, so you feel good because itâs sort of a validation that top leaders of other fields know about what youâre doing, and they nominated and elected you into the society. Itâs a real endorsement by leaders who are not in your field.â
Humayun said he is looking forward to the instituteâs biomedical studies. His focus is in applying biomedical engineering to medical conditions.
In one of his most significant projects, Humayun used bioelectronics that can restore sight to the blind. By replacing the function of the damaged retina with an electronic device, Humayun could effectively cure sufferers of macular degeneration, a condition which reduces the eyeâs ability to see clearly.
Goldman, the director of USCâs new Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, also said he is honored by his acceptance. He said his acceptance into the institu
te will help his work with the Schaeffer Center.
â[The election to the institute is] a recognition that USC can be an important institute in engaging in health policy research and health economics,â Goldman said.
Humayun agreed the instituteâs announcement could benefit USC, because it opens up opportunities from people who might have known the quality of work his department was doing earlier.
âBeing one of the highest honors in medicine, it just raises your profile,â Humayun said. âA lot of people who donât know you recognize the stamp of approval of the institute. Itâs an incredible stamp to have on your CV.â