Pioneering Turkish Cypriot medic receives award in Dubai

A doctor based at Near East University Hospital in Lefkoşa has been given the Young Researcher Award at the 11th International Healthcare and Biological Research Conference (IHBRC) following her innovative approach to microsurgery. Dr Ülvan Özad’s MicroNEU device offers an ethical solution to teaching medicine as it removes the need for learning using live animals.

MicroNEU was introduced to the world for the first time at this year’s IHBRC in Dubai.  The device was designed and developed by Dr Özad using three-dimensional printers at the Near East University (NEU) Innovation Centre to aid microsurgical training. The technique is vital for niche medical procedures such as neurosurgery, vascular surgery, and organ transplants. However, the cost of teaching such surgery is often prohibitive and the use of living creatures generates an adverse reaction from animal lovers.

Dr Özad’s solution is significantly cheaper – up to fifty times less expensive than other synthetic microsurgery models currently available. It also dispenses entirely with the need to experiment using live animals.

The science behind the innovative device will be covered in an article featured in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Health and Life Sciences.

Originally from the TRNC, Dr Özad recently spent some time studying in the UK before recently returning to her native North Cyprus to take up a position at NEU Hospital. In December 2014, she helped launch Kibrisli Turk Gencligi Ingiltere – a support group for Turkish Cypriot students in the UK.

NEU is the Cyprus’ largest university. Established in 1988 by billionaire Dr. Suat Günsel, the privately-run university has 26,000 students from over 100 countries. Its 16 faculties and 220 departments, which include a university hospital, comprehensive library, and dental and veterinary clinics, boast some of the best facilities in Cyprus.

Main photo: Dr Ülvan Özad / Instagram