The medical breakthroughs continue to amaze me and reinforce my view the next ten years’ progress will surpass the last 100 years. The single thing that makes me so optimistic is the incredible individuals who are so dedicated and so smart. Today, I read about Michael J. Yaszemski, an alumni of Lehigh University, where I went to engineering school. He has bachelors and masters degrees in chemical engineering from Lehigh, an M.D. from Georgetown University School of Medicine, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from MIT. Dr. Yaszemski is a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general. He served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Dr. Yaszemski performs spinal surgery at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. His specialty is treating patients with skeletal defects requiring reconstruction. He also directs Mayo’s Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory, where he builds biodegradable scaffold polymers and uses tissue engineering strategies to promote bone and spinal cord regeneration. By combining deep knowledge of both medicine and chemical engineering, breakthroughs are happening. At some point it seems likely patients with badly damaged spinal cords will be able to walk again.
It is remarkable achievers like Dr. Yaszemski which fuel my optimism about the future of healthcare. In 2016, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
Read interview with Dr. Yaszemski here.