Click here to view all of the 2017 Alumni Achievement Award recipients.
Mahnaz Shahidi, Ph.D.
Mahnaz Shahidi, Ph.D., earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics at Illinois Benedictine College in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Atomic and Molecular Physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1988. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in retinal imaging, joined the faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at UIC and became the director of the Applied Physics Laboratory. She was promoted to the rank of professor of Physics in Ophthalmology with tenure and joint appointments in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Bioengineering. Shahidi was named Morton F. Goldberg, M.D., FACS Professor of Ophthalmology and served as the vice chair and research director.
In 2016, Shahidi joined the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Southern California, where she is a professor of Ophthalmology, Riffenburgh professor in Glaucoma and vice chair for Translational Research. Her research program is focused on the development of optical imaging technologies for quantitative assessment of eye diseases. The novel imaging techniques developed in her research laboratory have provided valuable tools to study pathophysiology and improve diagnostic evaluation of ocular and systemic diseases. Shahidi has received funding support for her research program from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Shahidi has published more than 100 original articles in peer-reviewed journals and has given more than 150 presentations of her work at scientific conferences. She has received research awards from a number of private foundations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Whitaker Foundation and the OneSight Foundation. Shahidi was the recipient of the prestigious Senior Scientific Investigator Award from Research to Prevent Blindness Inc., the nation’s largest private sponsor of vision research. She was also named 2012 Inventor of the Year and 2013 Faculty of the Year in the College of Medicine at UIC.