Dr Nisar Syed Receives American Muslim Achievement Award
By Link Staff Reporter

In 1991, the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC) held the inaugural American Muslim Achievement Award (AMAA) ceremony. This year, the ICSC honored Mrs Ghada Irani and Dr Nisar Syed, who hails from Hyderabad, for their outstanding contribution to philanthropy and medicine. Previous recipients of the AMAA included Dr Ahmed Zewail  (Nobel Prize Chemistry).

Dr Nisar Syed is known around the world as one of the pioneers of non-invasive radiation oncology.

As a youth, Dr Syed was inspired to become a doctor through his empathy for his brother, who at an early age, was afflicted by a mysterious disease. As he recovered, Dr Syed watched the physicians treat his brother, the care they took of him, and the miraculous healing that occurred as a result. Dr Syed was fascinated by the doctor’s methods, and decided to become a doctor himself.

His natural aptitude for science and unquenchable desire to heal people led him to a medical school in India, with a residency appointment upon graduation in Edinburgh, Scotland. During this period, Dr Syed’s mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer, which was a turning point in his life. Dr Syed was disturbed as he watched his mother endure the radical surgery that was customary in those days, as well as the accompanying pain and discomfort. He thought there must be a better way, and decided to fight cancer while working to preserve the body of the patient.

Moving to Washington, DC, Dr Syed began working with Dr Erlich Henshcke, a pioneer in radiation oncology. There, Dr Syed learned the application of Brachytherapy, also known as Endocurietherapy, which is the permanent or temporary implantation of small radiation sources inside or close to the cancer. This procedure isolates radiation exposure to the tumor and preserves the surrounding tissue – a vital component to Dr Syed’s philosophy.

As an Assistant Professor at University of Southern California Medical School, Dr Syed developed a number of revolutionary brachytherapy procedures for prostate, breast, rectum, and cervical cancer. These procedures have become the international standard of care in the use of brachytherapy treatments.

Throughout his career, Dr Syed has devoted much of his time to the training of physicians around the world, as well as the training of residents from USC, University of California Irvine, University of California in Los Angeles, Loma Linda University, Stanford and many other schools of medicine. To promote this process, Dr Syed has developed a training program for both Radiation Oncologists and Radiation Oncology nurses that gives them the knowledge to combat cancer using the latest, most humane treatments. This program includes a textbook he is writing on brachytherapy techniques.

Dr Syed is the Founder of the American Brachytherapy Society (formerly the American Endocurietherapy Society), and has served as Secretary, Program Chair, Lecturer and President. He is a member of eight professional societies and is the Editor-in-Chief for the "Journal of Brachytherapy International."

“Like my colleagues, I felt there was a need for California Orange County CyberKnife. Now that we’ve built it, we have the most comprehensive radiation oncology facility in the region,” says Dr Syed. “All of us feel Orange County CyberKnife has a very bright future.”

Dr Nisar Syed is married to Dr Khadija Syed, who is also a radiation oncologist. They have four children and six grandchildren .



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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