Life Science Company and Industry News Briefs

USC Researcher to Receive Honor for Helping the Blind See

Posted by Laura Braden on Wed, Jan 27, 2016

A researcher from USC will be the next recepient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, for helping the blind see. Technology is a field that is always changing, with researchers constantly looking for new ways to solve problems through innovative projects. Mark Humayun, M.D., Ph.D., a professor from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering developed a product that can help people with retinitis pigmentosa, type of blindness, see, and is set to be honored with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, presented by President Barack Obama early this year.

Dr. Humayun developed a retinal prosthesis system that can help people suffering from the inherited retinal disease retinitis pigmentosa see. This system uses the Argus II system to mount a camera on a special pair of glasses. It is able to send a signal from the glasses to an electron receiver implanted inside the eye which travel through the retina to the optic nerve and into the brain. These signals are then interpreted into a visual picture, helping people see.

This is the first retinal implant that has been approved by the FDA in two years. With more work, Dr. Humayun hopes to improve the device to help people with different types of blindness, such as age-related macular degeneration, see as well.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation, which was created in 1980, is presented to people who make lasting contributions to America's technological workforce and help make America competitive in the field of technology. 

“Mark Humayun is such a deserving recipient of this prestigious honor,” said C.L. Max Nikias, USC President. “He dreamed the impossible: to help the blind see. With fearless imagination, bold leadership and biomedical expertise, he and his team made that dream come true with the world’s first artificial retina. USC is tremendously proud to be Professor Humayun’s academic home.” 

USC is a multi-million dollar research marketplace. USC is continuously producing leading results from life science research, and receives millions of dollars annually to not only fund research, but also establish new research buildings and centers on campus. Some of the funding awarded and research produced from this premiere research institution in 2015 include: 

  • USC Trustee Malcolm Currie and his wife, Barbara, donated $10 million to USC to construct the new USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience that will provide 190,000 square feet of space for biomedical research. Learn More: USC Gifted $10M for New BioScience Center
  • The Hastings Foundation awarded USC a five-year, $7.5 million gift to develop the Hastings Center for Pulmonary Research at the Keck School of Medicine, to further important research to treat lung diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Learn More: USC Pulmonary Receives $7.5M for New BioResearch Center
  • The Hearst Foundations awarded $300,000 to USC to support exceptional junior postdoctoral fellows who are pursuing stem cell research and work on important projects at USC. Learn More: USC Receives $300k for Stem Cell Fellowships
  • USC researchers Heinz-Josef Lenz and Min Yu are working towards halting cancer proliferation via their groundbreaking research at USC. Learn More: USC Researchers Hope to Halt Cancer Cell Growth

University of Southern California

As a leading hub for innovation and research, the University of Southern California is a prime marketplace for lab suppliers to display and promote products to active researchers. Each year, Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. hosts 2 product faire events that bring together more than 200 researchers, lab managers, PI's, professors, post docs, grad students, and purchasing agents with laboratory suppliers in one location for a table-top product show.

By attending these popular events, laboratory suppliers are able to:

  • Increase brand awareness in the academic marketplace.
  • Discuss products with active scientists and end-users to help them learn how products will benefit their lab work.
  • Meet face-to-face with new and existing leads to answer product questions, give out samples, and make your product known.

2016 events at USC will be held on: 

April 27, 2016 - 14th Semiannual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event


October 19, 2016 - 15th Semiannual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event

To learn more about participating in the upcoming events at USC, visit the link below: 

Learn More About USC Event

View the following video to learn more about the USC marketplace: 


Tags: CA, University of Southern California, Southwest, USC, Los Angeles, 2016, BioResearch Product Faire, New technology, blindness, national medal of technology and innovation, retinitis pigmentosa

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