Logo: University of Southern California

USC Ophthalmologist and Biomedical Engineer Joins IOM

"His work brilliantly embodies the kind of research that technology and engineering enable"
Meaghan Lewit
October 15, 2009 —

Mark Humayun has been elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) for his groundbreaking work to restore sight to the blind. The IOM made the announcement on Oct.

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Mark Humayun, M.D., Ph.D.
12 at its 39th annual meeting. 

Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Humayun, M.D., Ph.D., is professor of ophthalmology, cell and neurobiology, and biomedical engineering at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the Doheny Eye Institute at USC and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

His research projects focus on the treatment of the most debilitating and challenging eye diseases through advanced engineering. He is also the director of the Department of Energy Artificial Retina Project and co-inventor of the retinal prosthesis—an implantable artificial retina that has restored partial sight to blind patients.

“I am extremely honored to be elected into the Institute of Medicine,” Humayun said. “I would like to thank my colleagues and my family for their support, and I am looking forward to contributing as a member to the Institute of Medicine”

Humayun has been voted one of the Best Doctors in America and has received numerous research awards, including being named Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine in 2005.

“Mark Humayun’s work brilliantly embodies the kind of research that technology and engineering enable," said Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. "The combination of health science and technology is promising unprecedented advances in health care, and Mark’s work underscores this promise . I am delighted that our view of Mark’s  achievements and his extraordinary gifts were emphatically recognized  by his election to the  IOM. We offer him our heartfelt congratulations.”’

“The election of Mark Humayun to the Institute of Medicine is a great honor that recognizes his status as an outstanding leader in bioscience,” said Keck School of Medicine Dean Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A. “Dr. Humayun’s dedication to medicine and science, and his commitment to collaboration across disciplines, has profoundly improved the quality of life for many patients.”

Dana Goldman, Ph.D., professor and the Norman Topping Chair in Medicine and Public Policy at the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development was also elected to the IOM. Goldman oversees the newly created Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC and also has a faculty appointment at the School of Pharmacy.

New IOM members are elected by current active members through a highly selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, healthcare, and public health. IOM's total membership is 1,778.

The Institute of Medicine is unique in its structure as both an honorific membership organization and an advisory organization. Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, IOM has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues. With their election, members make a commitment to volunteer their service on IOM committees, boards, and other activities. Studies and initiatives during the past year include: a review of the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury among military personnel; an assessment of health effects due to lack of insurance; recommendations for comparative effectiveness research priorities; new guidelines for how much weight women should gain during pregnancy; a blueprint for American leadership in advancing global health; a strategy for preventing medical conflicts of interest; and a series of meetings on improving healthcare value through evidence-based medicine.