Sunday, 8 November 2009

Indian doctors: Hall of fame - Part 10: Dr Rangaswamy Srinivasan, Lasik co-inventor

By Syed Akbar
Dr Rangaswamy Srinivasan co-invented the process of LASIK surgery, a laser process that allows the removal of soft tissue from anywhere in the human body with a precision that was unknown before. He developed a technique called "Ablative Photo Decomposition " in 1981, not in a hospital, but at the IBM Research Centre.
He is a research physician who works on inventing techniques to improve not only surgical methods but also processes used in the making of computer chips. This inventor loves reading books on history, particularly
Indian history, and listens to music.

"When the potential of APD in surgery was announced by IBM in 1983, surgeons came to my lab to see what I could do to help their speciality. One of the first was an ophthalmic surgeon from Columbia University. Together we developed the surgical procedure which is today known as LASIK."
Dr Srinivasan, who obtained his early education in Chennai, is the first person of Indian origin to be inducted into the inventors hall of fame in Akron, USA for discovery of Lasik and yet he says, "it will be just a boast to
say I am the best doctor in this field".
"Indians are doing brilliantly everywhere in the world whenever and wherever they get the opportunity. The tragedy is that these people (including me) have to emigrate in order to find that opportunity. After my Ph. D., I did return to India and I did find a job at one of the leading government research centres.
But the pace of the work there and the red-tape not to mention the hierarchical arrangements were so discouraging that I left after just eight months in order to seek my opportunities abroad".

1 comment:

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