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President Obama Honors IBM Scientists with National Medal Of Technology And Innovation for Breakthrough That Enabled LASIK



 President Obama Honors IBM Scientists with National Medal Of Technology And
            Innovation for Breakthrough That Enabled LASIK Surgery

Excimer Laser Technology Revolutionized Vision Correction and Surgical
Procedures for Millions of People Worldwide

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- President Obama recognized a team of
three IBM (NYSE: IBM) scientists -- James J. Wynne, Rangaswamy Srinivasan and
Samuel Blum -- with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the
country's most prestigious award given to leading innovators for technological
achievement. With more than a combined 100 years of service at IBM Research,
they are receiving this award for designing, developing, and implementing
laser technology that improves people's health, including LASIK eye surgery.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )

President Obama will personally bestow the award to the IBMers at a special
White House ceremony at a later date. IBM has earned the National Medal of
Technology and Innovation on nine other occasions.

IBM's seminal work in laser technology, which began in 1981 by this team of
scientists, has shaped the course of surgical care. Well suited for delicate
surgeries, the excimer laser replaced mechanical instruments such as the
scalpel which was not very precise, could leave the cornea permanently
weakened and required a long recovery time.

The team of researchers originally demonstrated this technology's capabilities
to the medical community by using quick pulses of ultraviolet light to cut a
clean pattern into a human hair without burning the strand. This ability to
precisely cut into materials via vaporization, rather than burning, was
appealing to doctors and patients as it left surrounding areas undamaged.

Today, LASIK eye surgery is the most popular vision correction surgery
performed and has improved the vision of approximately 25 million people
worldwide. This type of modern surgery technology is one reason why the world
has looked to the United States for leadership and best practices.  James
Wynne still works at IBM's TJ Watson Research Center while Srinivasan and Blum
have since retired.

For more information, visit the IBM Icon of Progress on Excimer Laser Surgery
at http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/us/en/icons/excimer/ 

Michael Loughran
IBM Communications
mloughra@us.ibm.com
914-443-9816

Ari Entin
IBM Communications
aentin@us.ibm.com
408-927-2272

 

SOURCE IBM
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