On Jan. 14, Achilefu’s mother, wife and two teenage children watched as the scientist received the St. Louis Award at the Eric P. Newman Education Center. The honor, awarded almost every year since 1932, recognises area residents whose achievements reflect positively on the community. Achilefu was recognised for leading a team that developed high-tech goggles that help surgeons “see” cancer.
Cancer cells are notoriously difficult to see, even under high-powered magnification. Achilefu’s eyewear is designed to make it easier for surgeons to distinguish malignant cells from healthy cells, helping to ensure that no stray tumor cells are left behind during surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. The glasses could reduce the need for additional surgical procedures and the subsequent stress on patients, as well as time and expense.
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