TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian math genius Maryam Mirzakhani died at a hospital in the US on Saturday after a long battle with cancer.

“A light was turned off today, it breaks my heart…. Gone far too soon,” Firouz Naderi, an Iranian scientist with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), said in a message posted on his Instagram account on Saturday.

Mirzakhani had been diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago, a year before she set the record of the first ever woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal, also known as the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

The 40-year-old mathematician, a professor at Stanford University, was the first Iranian woman elected to the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in May 2016, in recognition of her “distinguished and continuing achievement in original research.”

With past honorees, including renowned physicist Albert Einstein, and inventors Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham Bell, being a member of the organization is considered to be one of the highest achievements for scientists in the United States.