Dr. Gholam Peyman, LASIK Surgery Inventor, Wins National Medal of Technology and Innovation

UA College of Medicine – Phoenix Physician Among Those Honored by President

PHOENIX – Gholam A. Peyman, MD, a faculty member at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, was named today by President Obama as one of the 12 eminent researcher recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.  Dr. Peyman is also a professor of Optical Sciences and Engineering at the UA.

 Eleven extraordinary inventors were also named recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. This award and the National Medal of Science designations are the highest honors bestowed by the federal government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors. The recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony in early 2013.

“I am proud to honor these inspiring American innovators,” President Obama said.  “They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this Nation great—and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment.”

Dr. Peyman is an ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon who has more than 135 patents. His most widely-known invention is LASIK eye surgery, a vision correction procedure designed to allow people to see clearly without glasses.  Dr. Peyman’s inventions cover a broad range of novel medical devices, intra-ocular drug delivery, surgical techniques, laser and optical instruments, as well as new methods of diagnosis and treatment. He has won numerous honors and awards, including being inducted into the Hall of Fame of Ophthalmology.

“This is a great national honor for the tremendous contribution Dr. Peyman has made to medicine, science and technology” said Dr. Stuart D. Flynn, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.  “We are so proud of Dr. Peyman, and our faculty and students are grateful for the opportunity to have this amazing physician as part of our College.”  In addition to his faculty appointments, Dr. Peyman’s practices at Arizona Retinal Specialists in Sun City West.

Dr Peyman is a member of the editorial board of nine distinguished ophthalmology journals. His awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the first translational research award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and inclusion in the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Hall of Fame.

Dr Peyman conducted pioneering studies in intraocular drug delivery and refractive and vitreoretinal surgery. He established the techniques of eye-wall resection and endoresection for intraocular tumors, and was the first to perform a retinochoroidal biopsy and transplant retinal pigment epithelial cells for age-related macular degeneration. He is also a pioneer in laser and photodynamic therapy.

He described the first pressure-controlled valve (the Krupin valve) for glaucoma surgery, and developed the first telescopic IOL for patients with macular disease. He was also among the first to implant an artificial silicone retina in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. A committee of Presidential appointees selects nominees on the basis of their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, or the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences.

“I am so honored by this award,” said Dr. Peyman.  “What a wonderful surprise.  I am gratified that our work has touched so many people.  We work always to enhance treatments and improve the outcomes for patients.  We continue to look forward since there are many more problems to solve. ”

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the Nation’s technological workforce. Nominees are selected by a distinguished independent committee representing the private and public sectors.

This year’s recipients are listed below.

National Medal of Science

Dr. Allen Bard, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Sallie Chisholm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Sidney Drell, Stanford University

Dr. Sandra Faber, University of California, Santa Cruz

Dr. Sylvester James Gates, University of Maryland

Dr. Solomon Golomb, University of Southern California

Dr. John Goodenough, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. M. Frederick Hawthorne, University of Missouri

Dr. Leroy Hood, Institute for Systems Biology (Wash.)

Dr. Barry Mazur, Harvard University

Dr. Lucy Shapiro, Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Anne Treisman, Princeton University


National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Dr. Frances Arnold, California Institute of Technology

Dr. George Carruthers, U.S. Naval Research Lab

Dr. Robert Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Norman McCombs, AirSep Corporation (N.Y.)

Dr. Gholam Peyman, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix/Arizona Retinal Specialists, AZ

Dr. Art Rosenfeld, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Calif.)

Dr. Jan Vilcek, NYU Langone Medical Center


Dr. Samuel Blum, IBM Corporation, New York

Dr. Rangaswamy Srinivasan, IBM Corporation, New York

Dr. James Wynne, IBM Corporation, New York


Raytheon BBN Technologies, Mass., *Represented by CEO Edward Campbell


Affiliations listed are the awardees’ most recently identified employers; some awardees are now retired. 



White House media contact:


Becky Fried

Communications Analyst

The White House | Office of Science & Technology Policy

O: 202.456.6045

M: 202.503.7122

E: rfried@ostp.eop.gov


About the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix admitted its inaugural class of first-year medical students in August 2007. The College of Medicine – Phoenix currently has 265 students training to be physicians. The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix inspires and trains individuals to become exemplary physicians, scientists and leaders who are life-long learners and inquisitive scholars and who will embrace professionalism, innovation and collaboration to optimize health and healthcare for all.



Al Bravo

Associate Director, Public Affairs

University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix

550 E. Van Buren St., Room 1263

Phoenix, AZ 85004-2230

(602) 827-2022 (office)

(480) 329-8893 (cell)


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