Meet African Investor: Who invented Infrared Goggles.
Samuel Achilefu is the inventor of infrared goggles which enables surgeons to see cancer cells.
Born in Northern Nigeria in 1962, Achilefu as a 5-year-old boy left for the Eastern Region with his parents on the eve of the Nigerian civil war in 1967.
He was fortunate to be one of five students to win a French government scholarship to attend graduate school in France, where he received a Ph.D. in molecular and materials chemistry at the University of Nancy, France. He wrote his thesis in French.
He had his post-doctoral studies at Oxford University, training on the “interface between chemistry and hematology, working on developing blood substitutes”. In 1993, the Nigerian genius arrived St. Louis to become the first full-time staff member of the Discovery Research Department at Mallinckrodt Medical Inc.
Achilefu, who is now the Director of the Washington University Molecular Imaging Center and a professor of radiology at the Washington University School of Medicine, designed high-tech goggles to help surgeons see cancer cells, which are notoriously difficult to see, during surgical procedures.
The cells glow blue when viewed through the eyewear, helping to ensure that no stray tumor cells are left behind during surgery.
He has been married to Nnnena for 26 years. They have a 24-year-old daughter, Chisara, and a 21-year-old son, Kelechi. #HistoryVille