BOSTON -- William Cohn, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, will receive the 2000 Distinguished Inventor Award from the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Cohn is being honored for inventing the Cohn Cardiac Stabilizer, a device and method that makes it possible to perform coronary artery bypass surgery on a beating heart without the use of a heart-lung machine. The award will be presented June 28 in the Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Traditionally, coronary artery bypass surgery involves stopping the heart and placing the patient on a heart-lung machine. Heart-lung machines circulate and filter the blood while adding oxygen and removing carbon dioxide. They can cause an inflammatory reaction that affects the entire body and can aggravate illnesses. The Cohn Cardiac Stabilizer is marketed by Genzyme Surgical Products as part of Genzyme-OPCAB Elite Stabilization System.
"Dr. Cohn is being recognized as one of America's most creative inventors," said Herbert C. Wamsley, executive director of IPO. "The heart surgery tool he invented advances the state of the art and will speed patient recovery and save lives."
Cohn, also an instructor in surgery at Harvard Medical School, performs approximately 200 open-heart surgeries a year. He received his medical degree and completed his residency program at Baylor College of Medicine, where he served under famed heart surgeon Michael Debakey. During the past two years, Cohn has licensed three additional patents for medical devices he has invented.
IPO is a trade association with programs to improve patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret laws. IPO works to protect and improve the intellectual property systems that are vital to America's technological and economic leadership by bringing together the voices of large, medium and small businesses, independent inventors, authors and patent attorneys.