The 2024 Kumar Patel Prize in Laser Surgery Awarded to Drs. Piya Gandhi, Cara Riek, and Jakub Kaczmarek

The American Laser Study Club (ALSC) is proud to announce the recipients of the prestigious 2024 Kumar Patel Prize in Laser Surgery. This accolade is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated exceptional proficiency in laser surgery and made significant contributions as educators in the field. The 2024 award winners are:

The award ceremony will take place during the American Laser Study Club’s Annual Symposia in San Diego, CA. This year features two events: the Breathe and Thrive Symposium (February 2-4) and the Veterinary Laser Surgery Symposium (May 3-4). For further details about the Symposia, please visit

About the Award Winners:

Dr. Piya Gandhi, DDS, is the founder of West U Pediatric Dentistry. A New York native, Dr. Gandhi relocated to Houston in 2010, embracing West U as her proud home. She completed her specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the University of Texas and is affiliated with Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Gandhi is passionate about delivering exceptional patient care and is dedicated to partnering with parents to make the best decisions for their children’s health.

Dr. Cara Riek, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, IBCLC, began her lactation journey following the birth of her son. Her diverse career includes research, teaching, nursing, and lactation consulting. Dr. Riek is an alumni of Arizona State University with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Her mission is to provide individualized, evidence-based care to mother-baby dyads, supporting each family to achieve their unique breastfeeding goals.

Dr. Jakub Kaczmarek, DVM, Dipl. ECVS, Dipl. EBVS, after graduating in veterinary studies from Wroclaw, Poland, in 2013, completed a surgical internship in Germany, is an EBVS® European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, and achieved his Diplomat status from the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2021. He currently practices in Erftstadt, Germany.

About the Kumar Patel Prize in Laser Surgery:

Established in 2018 by the American Laser Study Club, the Kumar Patel Prize in Laser Surgery honors individuals who have substantially contributed to laser surgery through research, education, or clinical practice. The prize, named after Dr. Kumar Patel, the inventor of the CO2 laser, is awarded annually at the ALSC Annual Symposia. Past recipients include renowned professionals across various medical disciplines—more information about the Kumar Patel Prize in Laser Surgery can be found at

About the American Laser Study Club:

Founded in 2017, the American Laser Study Club is dedicated to providing education and training in the application of lasers in dentistry and surgery. It promotes evidence-based laser surgery, dentistry, and safety education. The ALSC supports healthcare professionals, including physicians, dentists, veterinarians, and practice staff, in the safe and effective use of laser technology. More information about the ALSC and its resources can be found on their website,