Ming Wang, an eye surgeon specializing in 3-D LASIK surgery, gave a lecture in Derryberry Auditorium Monday night as the keynote speaker of Tech’s Biochemistry Week. His visit was a S.O.L.O. event hosted by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Dr. Wang’s lecture, “Life Is What You Make It,” focused primarily on his life growing up in communist China and the struggles he went through that shaped how he lived his life.
Growing up during the Cultural Revolution in China, Wang realized how important education was to him. The Revolution lasted from 1966 until 1976 and was responsible for 20 million youth being deported to the poorest part of the country and condemned to a lifetime of hard labor if they tried to continue their education.
“Education was everything,” said Dr. Wang. “… Growing up in (America), we take freedom for granted.”
As a way to avoid this fate, Wang and others realized they could learn an artistic talent and join the People’s Liberation Army. That is when Wang first picked up the erhu, a Chinese violin, leading to his eventual immigration to the United States where he studied laser physics.
Wang said he “learned these things; not for love of music but for sheer need to survive.”
Based in Nashville, Dr. Wang has performed more than 55,000 LASIK and cataract procedures, including surgeries on more than 4,000 doctors. A Harvard University and MIT grad, Wang is the founding director of the Wang Vision 3-D Cataract and LASIK center.
Dr. Wang was the first surgeon in the world to perform 3-D LASIK procedures. What makes this surgery different from other LASIK procedures is that the surgeon wears 3-D glasses and uses a high-definition, microsurgical system that allows for more precision, safety and quality. Wang said 99 percent of patients return to work the next day.
Wang concluded the lecture by playing a few songs on the erhu, including “Danny Boy” and “Big River,” an ancient Chinese song.
Tech’s ASBMB held this year’s Biochemistry Week. The organization has members majoring in chemistry, chemical engineering, biology and any other major with interests in the molecular biosciences. Other events from Biochemistry Week included a trivia night, a movie night and a Golden Eagle’s Pub ice cream social.
According to Sarah Reynolds, co-chair for Biochemistry Week, the events centered around Feb. 28 because that is when Watson and Crick discovered the DNA helix. After the pair made the discovery, they ran to the nearest pub, the Eagle’s Pub.
“Being a part of this club has been a great experience for me,” said Reynolds, a senior applied chemistry major. “Even if you are not a biochemistry or molecular biology (major), this is still an exciting club.”