For creating cancer-visualising glasses which enables surgeons see cancer cells while operating, Nigerian born scientist, Dr. Samuel Achilefu, has won the prestigious St. Louis Award for 2014.
Achilefu, who is a professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, and his team developed the imaging technology in cancer diagnosis into a wearable night vision-like goggles so that surgeons could see the cancer cells while operating.
Achilefu while speaking to business network, Bloomberg, said surgeons hitherto the development of the device had to perform in the dark.
The goggles were this month used on humans for the first time by surgeons at the Washington University School of Medicine, as 4 patients suffering from breast cancer and over two dozens patients with melanoma or liver cancer have been operated on using the goggles since their development.
Ryan Fields who is a surgical oncologist collaborating with Achilefu to improve on the technology said the goggles function fantastically, allowing doctors to see the cells in real time.
Achilefu who was quoted as saying "making a difference in society should be the goal of everybody” says he intends to keep Washington University as the primary centre for clinical trials to evaluate the technology in patients (the goggles have not yet been FDA-approved).