Jaycees Honor Outstanding Young American From Los Gatos (2007-11-18)
by Los Gatos Observer
Dr. Rahul N. Khurana, 31, who grew up in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno, has been named one of the 2007 Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees). The presentation of the 69th annual black-tie awards ceremony was held September 22, 2007, in the Omaha, Nebraska Hilton Hotel.
Dr. Khurana is a clinical instructor and surgeon at the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He works in the areas of research, teaching, and treating patients with a focus on the visual system, specializing in the field of retina in hopes of developing cures for blinding diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. His ultimate goal is starting his own laboratory to further study age-related macular degeneration at the molecular level.
Dr. Khurana has made numerous scientific contributions and discoveries, including discovering new insights into the development of the disease of glaucoma as a medical student; discovering a fatal complication of a popular weight-reducing surgery and devising guidelines to prevent it from occurring as an intern; and writing more than 27 papers that have revealed new discoveries regarding various eye diseases and potential medical and surgical treatments. Khurana received the American Medical Association's Foundation Leadership Award in 2007, which recognized him as one of the top 51 emerging national leaders expected to make a strong impact on the future of medicine; was named a Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellow in 2006, a prestigious award given to the most promising leaders in ophthalmology in the U.S. who will be pursuing clinical subspecialty training, education, and research; and was named thePan-American Association of Ophthalmology Paul Kayser International Travel Scholar in 2007, an award that recognizes exceptional ophthalmologists from North America who travel and work with ophthalmologists in South America to expose them to excellent clinical and research training.
Dr. Khurana grew up in the Los Gatos area, attending Bellarmine College Preparatory for high school and Stanford University for college.
The Ten Outstanding Young Americans program (TOYA) is one of the oldest and most prestigious recognition programs in America. Annually since 1938, The United States Jaycees has sought out the ten young men and women who best exemplify the finest attributes of America's youthful achievers. Some of the earlier recipients of this honor include Bill Clinton, John D. Rockefeller, John F. Kennedy, Henry Ford, Robert F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley.
The TOYA selection process begins in the spring of each year. Following the submission deadline, all nominations are forwarded to a panel of screening judges who, working independently, select and rank their top twenty choices. The top twenty point getters become the finalists. The finalists' nominations are forwarded to a panel of finalist judges who rank their top ten choices. The task of judging the nominations is arduous.
Each nominee's accomplishments and contributions are also judged in relation to the Jaycee Creed: "That earth's great treasure lies in human personality, and that service to humanity is the best work of life" and they must meet certain qualifications: age (18-40, inclusive), American citizenship (or application therefore), and agree to attend the TOYA Awards Ceremony.