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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Surgery

HIPLA names cardiac surgeon Inventor of the Year

William E. Cohn, M.D.

The Houston Intellectual Property Law Association distinguishes Dr. William E. Cohn with the 2014 Outstanding Inventor of the Year Award for his life-saving medical innovations

HOUSTON – Recently, the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) recognized Dr. William E. Cohn for his life-saving contributions to the medical community with its Outstanding Inventor of the Year Award. The award was presented at the HIPLA monthly luncheon where Cohn gave a presentation on two of his inventions, the Off-Pump Implantation of Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) and the Tissue Ligation device, for which he has received numerous patents.

As a cardiovascular surgeon at the Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Cohn has created numerous technologies associated with heart surgery. He has been issued forty five United States patents and has over forty patent applications pending. The HIPLA Outstanding Inventor of the Year Award acknowledges the entirety of his innovations in patient care and cardiac disease treatment. 

Cohn's patented technique and surgical tools for VAD implantation allow a surgical team to attach a ventricular assist device directly to a patient's beating heart without cardio-pulmonary bypass. The new device has the potential to decrease morbidity of this procedure and improve results

Cohn's Tissue Ligation device is a tool that addresses a risk associated with atrial fibrillation (AF).  Patients with AF can develop blood clots in the left atrial appendage (LAA), which can dislodge and embolize often leading to a devastating stroke.  Cohn's device allows doctors to tie off LAA using magnetic guide wires and novel tools, thus avoiding the need to perform open the chest surgery.

Dr. Cohn currently lives in Bellaire, Texas and is the director of the Center for Technology Innovation; the director of Minimally Invasive Surgical Technology; a professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and an adjunct professor of Bioengineering at University of Houston. When not performing heart surgery or inventing techniques to save lives, he amazes friends and colleagues with his magic skills.