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Home »» Moroccan Of The Month

Dr. Mohamed Elmandjra  [ January, 2002 ]
Dr. Mohamed Elmandjra

With a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago, Dr Mohamed Elmandjra has spent the majority of his professional life in the field of advanced medical technology. Early in his career, he taught at the University and authored a dozen scientific papers. Later on he was featured in several business and international publications as well as on World Business Review with Alexander Haig. (see video here http://www.broadcast.com/business_and_finance/world_business_review/Cancer_Therapeutics.html )

Mohamed began his career at General Electric Medical Systems as a development scientist in the European offices in France. He subsequently took over the responsibility for European marketing activities for the Magnetic Resonance Imaging. In 1994, he was asked to join GE Medical headquarters in Milwaukee WI to lead product development for advanced MR technologies. Dr. Elmandjra left GE in 1997 as Global Business Segment Manager to join ADAC Laboratories as Vice President of Marketing. ADAC is the world leader in Nuclear Medicine, another advanced imaging modality helping in the diagnosis of cancer and cardiac disease. In 1999, ADAC entered the area of PET imaging, a rapidly growing area of medical imaging and Mohamed was named Vice-President and General Manager of the PET division. In December 2000, ADAC was acquired by Philips Medical Systems and he was named Senior Vice President of International Operations. He left Philips in December 2001 to take the position of President and Chief Executive Officer at Photonify Technologies, a medical high tech company in Silicon Valley. Founded in November 1999, the organization is leading the development of new medical technologies that aim at improving cancer detection and making screening more accessible to all areas of the world. The technology called Diffuse Optical Imaging DOIS has numerous other potential applications in areas such as fetal monitoring and anesthesia control.

On his experience, Elmandjra says "I have always been really interested in the combination of Engineering and Medicine. I find engineering intellectually very challenging but advancing healthcare is something I am passionate about, so I am very lucky to have a job that combines both. I have been blessed with some great opportunities and I am grateful for that but I am also very conscious of the social and cultural responsibilities of each one of us who has the chance to interact with people from other backgrounds. Living in the US for the past 20 years has not changed at all how much I feel Moroccan and live it fully. I know many Moroccans abroad don't consider themselves successful if they don't give something back to our country, our people and our society. My father passed away this year and I always remember his passion for his country. "Annafs ala bladi" was a driving force in his life and he constantly used his numerous high level responsibilities at the World Bank and other international organizations as a platform to spread a the word on the issues facing his people from the fight for independence in the late fifties to the introduction of new concepts to Morocco, such as technical innovations in agriculture and industry or even TV advertising. He is a constant inspiration for me. I believe using our various platforms is especially important in America today, post-September 11. More than ever we are all ambassadors of our people and everyone puts us under a big magnifying glass. That can be difficult and uncomfortable at times, but it can also be a great opportunity to make our voices heard. On September 13th I received a call from a friend who asked me whether I was going to change my name after the WTC tragedy, I said, somewhat surprised "absolutely not, why would I do that?" he said " well you know, I thought you would want to keep a low profile in these tough times" Keeping a low profile is exactly the wrong thing to do. First it would be an admission of some kind of guilt, second, it would leave the stage open for even more stereotypes to be propagated. We have to stop being the silent majority and take the focus away from the fringe." "The other real passions in my life, are Yassine and Iman my children and of course my wife Meriem, a banker in San Francisco. They are the light in my life and the fuel in my engine! That's the energy I use to get up and start the day."

Mohamed and his family live outside San Francisco and travel to Morocco as often as they can . If he had more time, he says he would spend it studying Andalusian music and Culture, as a next career move he may start promoting the great talent of his mother who is an amazing artist and painter, but just way to shy to admit it !




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