WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Barack Obama awarded LASIK eye surgery inventor, Gholam Peyman, MD, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor bestowed on an American inventor, during a ceremony at the White House on Feb. 1. Peyman, a professor of Optical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, is among 12 researchers to receive the honor.

“When Gholam Peyman first accepted a position at the office of the University of Illinois, his office was a converted restroom,” President Obama said. “But he carved out enough space for himself, his secretary and his lab equipment, and today he is known as the father of LASIK eye surgery.”

“Dr. Peyman is widely acknowledged as a leading innovator in ophthalmology,” said David F. Chang, MD, president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, of which Dr. Peyman is a longstanding member. An ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon, Dr. Peyman has more than 135 patents. Although widely known for inventing LASIK, Dr. Peyman’s inventions cover a broad range of novel medical devices, intraocular drug delivery systems, surgical techniques, laser and optical instruments, and new methods for diagnosis and treatment.

His other honors include induction into the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s Ophthalmology Hall of Fame, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Lifetime Achievement Award.