Indian American Dr. C. Kumar N. Patel becomes honorary member of the American Laser Study Club

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C. Kumar N. Patel (Courtesy: pa.ucla.edu)

Indian American Dr. C. Kumar N. Patel, has become an Honorary Member of the American Laser Study Club (ALSC), according to a press release.

Patel is the inventor of the CO2 laser and he was a keynote speaker at the ALSC Inaugural Symposium last month where he received the first annual “Kumar Patel Prize in Laser Surgery” award.

The CO2 laser has become the most popular soft-tissue surgical laser across all specialties of human and veterinary medicine because of its ability to precisely vaporize one cell layer at a time, due to its excellent absorption by histological water as well as its unique ability to delicately coagulate blood capillaries.

Patel was born in Baramati, India and he received his bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Poona University in 1958.

He then came to the United States for graduate school where he earned his master’s and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University; he has been working at Bell Labs for more than 30 years.

In 1963, Patel began doing fundamental research in laser action in the pure rare gases which led him to discover laser action in carbon dioxide (CO2).

In February 2000, he founded Pranalytica Inc. in Santa Monica, California and now serves as its CEO and chairman of the board.

Patel is also a professor of physics with a joint appointment in electrical engineering at UCLA where he served as the vice chancellor for research until 1999.

Patel was elected to the National Academy of Science in 1974 and the National Academy of Engineering in 1978; he also received the National Medal of Science in 1996.