Mahnaz Shahidi: Inventor of the Year

Mahnaz Shahidi

Mahnaz Shahidi’s EyeFlow device measures blood flow in the eye.

The Inventor of the Year Award is presented by the UIC Office of Technology Management to a campus researcher whose work has led to intellectual property with the potential to make a significant impact.

Are you at risk for stroke? A device developed by ophthalmology researcher Mahnaz Shahidi can see it in your eyes.

Shahidi, professor of physics in ophthalmology and visual sciences, invented EyeFlow, an optical imaging device that measures blood flow in the conjunctiva of the eye.

The device is a quick and cost-effective way to diagnose and screen patients at risk for stroke, the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of severe long-term disability in the U.S.

EyeFlow is one of several optical imaging technologies Shahidi’s laboratory is developing to screen for ailments like diabetic retinopathy, sickle cell disease, age-related macular degeneration and retinopathy of prematurity.

“These imaging technologies provide valuable tools for advancing scientific knowledge and improving diagnosis and treatment of diseases,” said Shahidi, Morton F. Goldberg professor in ophthalmology.

Shahidi, who has a Ph.D. in atomic and molecular physics from UIC, is vice chair and director of research in ophthalmology and visual sciences.

Throughout her career, she has been successful in attracting support for technology-driven research projects from the National Eye Institute and private foundations. She has been director of the Imaging Module of the department’s NEI Core Grant for Vision Research since 1998.

Other honors include the Senior Scientific Investigator Award from Research to Prevent Blindness Inc., a private sponsor of vision research.

“I am encouraged to pursue development of new technologies that can have a significant impact on the scientific field and benefit society,” she said.

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