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The ground-breaking work into laser technology by the three winners of this year’s Nobel prize for Physics has helped transform key areas of modern eye surgery according to a leading Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon.
Professor Sunil Shah, a founding partner of Solihull-based Midland Eye, commented: “The research undertaken in the 1980s by Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland into the technique of chirped pulse amplification was a major scientific breakthrough. It ultimately paved the way for the development of the revolutionary Femtosecond laser which has made procedures very safe and accurate. Femtosecond applications, which include laser-assisted cataract surgery, is utilised in the creation of a corneal flap during LASIK laser eye surgery and is being used for research into lens softening for presbyopia.”
These two scientists, along with Arthur Ashkin, will jointly receive their medals at a prestigious ceremony to be held in Stockholm on December 10. Arthur Ashkin is to receive one half of the prize money for his work on ‘optical tweezers and their application to biological systems.’
Professor Shah added: “I haven’t met Gérard Mourou or Donna Strickland but I am delighted that their research efforts have now been recognised with the award of the ultimate prize in Physics.”
As an innovator himself – pioneering LASEK laser eye surgery and mid-stromal corneal grafts for keratoconus – Professor Shah specialises in complex corneal and refractive surgery. Earlier this year he was included in the Top 100 Power List (of the most influential people in ophthalmology in the world) compiled by The Ophthalmologist magazine for his research, teaching and clinical work.
However, it is his philanthropic work in Cambodia of which he is most proud. He is International Medical Chair of the Khmer Sight Foundation (KSF), an initiative which is helping to save the sight of thousands of people who live in villages across the country and cannot afford eye surgery.