Nigerian-Born Scientist Who Created Cancer Vision Goggle

Dr. Samuel Achilefu

Samuel Achilefu is a #Nigerian-born Scientist and medical researcher who has pioneered both fundamental and applied research in science, engineering, and medicine. He is known for inventing cancer vision goggles.


Samuel Achilefu is a global scientist and medical researcher, who has championed both fundamental and applied research in science, medicine and engineering. He is an expert in developing and using light-sensitive drugs for cancer detection, imaging, and therapy.

Samuel Achilefu is known for inventing high-tech infrared goggles which enables the accurate removal of cancer cells during surgery. Designed to make it easier for surgeons to distinguish malignant cells from healthy cells, the cancer goggles have been used successfully in over 27 cancer operations.

Dr Samuel is also the brain behind a novel treatment paradigm for cancer, which uses a special type of light and non-pharmacological doses of drugs to selectively trigger cancer cell death without causing harm to healthy tissues. These and other remarkable innovations have resulted in 59 issued US patents, over 300 scientific papers and features in several public media outlets.

He holds a PhD in Molecular Physical and Materials Chemistry from the University of Nancy, France and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Oxygen Transport Systems and Hematology at Oxford University, Oxford UK.

Dr Samuel’s research interest lies in the design, development and biochemical evaluation of molecular imaging agents and drugs in cells and living organisms. They span areas of Cancer Imaging and Therapy, Molecular Imaging, Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine and Image-Guided Surgery.

A world-renowned scientist, Samuel serves as Director of the Washington University Molecular Imaging Center and the privately funded Theranostic Innovation Program. He is co-Director of the Center for Multiple Myeloma Nanotheraphy and co-Leader of the Oncologic Imaging Program of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Centre at Washington University. Dr Samuel is also the Michel M. Ter-Pogossian Professor of Radiology and Vice-Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine. He holds joint appointments as a professor of medicine, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, and Biomedical Engineering.

Dr Samuel is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute for Biomedical and Biological Engineering the Optical Society of America, and the International Society for Optics and Photonics Engineering (SPIE). He holds membership of different organizations including the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NACBIB) and the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute’s Intramural Molecular Imaging Program.

In recognition of his impacts and groundbreaking research, he has received both local and international honours and awards including the prestigious SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award in 2019, the Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award in 2018, St. Louis American Excellence in Healthcare Award, 2017, the first recipient of Breast Cancer Research Programme Distinguished Investigator Award in 2016, the Best Global Impact Award in 2015, St. Louis Innovator Award by Alive Magazine, and Outstanding Scientist Fellow Award by Academy of Science.

Dr. Samuel Achilefu is recognised for leading innovations to tackle cancer cells in patients across the world. He is a force to reckon with and the world is rooting for him.

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