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Dr. Samuel Achilefu: Inventor of Cancer Detection Goggles

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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Dr. Samuel Achilefu

Nigerian born, Dr. Samuel Achilefu is the Director of Optical Radiology at the Washington University in St. Louis. With the help of a team of scientists, he has invented a pair of high-tech goggles which helps surgeons ‘see’ cancerous cells. When surgeons remove a tumor, diseased tissues can be hard to distinguish from healthy ones. A fluorescent marker and special goggles make cancer cells appear to glow under infrared light, so surgeons have an easier time removing them. Achilefu and his research team accomplished this using materials already approved for use in cancer patients

First, surgeons inject a tiny quantity of an infrared fluorescent marker into the patient’s bloodstream.  After the tracer flows through a patient’s body which takes about four hours – the operation would begin. The goggles have been used on humans for the first time by surgeons at the Washington University School of Medicine. Four patients suffering from breast cancer and over two dozens patients with melanoma or liver cancer have been operated on using the goggles since they were developed.

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Achilefu’s research was initially funded by Washington University and the Department of Defense’s Breast Cancer Research Program. To develop the goggles, he assembled a team that included engineers and video game specialists. After successfully using the technology in rodents, his team received in 2012 a $2.8 million federal grant, paving the way for use in patients. The results will soon be used to seek FDA approval of the device so other surgeons across the country can start using the technology.

Achilefu is an alumnus of world-renowned Oxford University, where he completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship moved to the U.S. in 1993. He lives in the St. Louis area with his wife and two teenage children.

To see a video on how the goggles work click on the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJjxDHYoMgE

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Dr. Charles H. Wright: Physician With A Passion for African American History

 Black History: Special Delivery!!

dr charles h wright

Dr. Charles Howard Wright (1918 – 2002) was an African-American physician. He founded the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI. Wright practiced both general medicine as well as obstetrics and gynecology. Wright became motivated to preserve African American history after visiting a memorial to Danish World War II heroes in Denmark. Visiting this memorial, convinced him that African Americans needed a place and platform to preserve and teach about African American history, life and culture.

In 1965, in partnership with a racially diverse group of 33 individuals, Wright opened the International Afro-American Museum on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, MI (pictured above). The next year he also began a traveling exhibit of African History which toured the state in a converted mobile home.

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In 1978, the City of Detroit agreed to lease space to Wright for land in the Midtown area of Detroit. Groundbreaking took place in 1985 and the museum was named the “Museum of African American History”. The museum was expanded in 1997 and in 1998 it was renamed, “The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History”. The museum is described as, “the world’s largest institution dedicated to the African American experience.” The museum is home to over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials.

Charles Wright Museum

Click here to visit the museum website.

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WGPR/Channel 62 – 1st African American Owned TV Station In The U.S.

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

In 1961, Dr. William V. Banks, took a lead role when the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons bought WQTI 107.5 and renamed it WGPR.  He changed the format to R & B, gospel and soul music to make it more appealing to African American Detroiters.  In 1975, he would do the same thing in the television industry by launching Channel 62.  Bank’s purchase made WGPR the first television station ever to be wholly owned by African Americans.

The station created an opportunity for African-Americans in front of and behind the cameras. At that time not only were there no black-owned television stations, but there weren’t a lot of black people working in television.  One TV-62’s signature shows was, “The Scene”; a dance show featuring African Americans.  “The Scene was on air from 1975-1987”.

In 1995, WGPR-TV was sold to CBS.  CBS changed the tv station name to WWJ-TV and targeted its programming for a general audience.

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