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March 9, 2007

Indianapolis Business Journal honors Purdue's Geddes

Leslie Geddes testing a monitoring device
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Purdue biomedical engineer Leslie Geddes on Friday (March 9) received a Health Care Heroes Award from the Indianapolis Business Journal in recognition of his impact on the health-care industry.

The awards, which recognize companies, individuals and organizations for improving health care in the Indianapolis area, were announced during a breakfast. The winners and finalists, who will be profiled in an Indianapolis Business Journal supplement, were honored for their contributions in one of five categories: Community Achievement in Health Care, Advancements in Health Care, Physician, Non-Physician and Volunteer.

Geddes, the Showalter Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, was selected in the Advancements in Health Care category.

Geddes, whose research has spawned innovations ranging from burn treatments to miniature defibrillators, ligament repair to tiny blood pressure monitors for premature infants, officially retired in 1991. He still comes to work every day around 4:30 a.m. to conduct research and teach.

He is an inventor on 35 U.S. patents and more than 100 foreign patents.

The 85-year-old researcher began his career in 1952 at Baylor University College of Medicine and was recruited to Purdue in 1974 to help the university develop an organized biomedical engineering program and create new technologies in the field. In 2004, Geddes received the university's Outstanding Commercialization Award to recognize his numerous patents, many now licensed by Indiana companies. Indiana-based companies that have licensed and commercialized Geddes' inventions are Cook Biotech Inc., DePuy Inc., Eli Lilly and Co., Hillenbrand Industries, Cook Inc., Technology Transfer Inc. and Theron Inc.

Among his team's many accomplishments are:

*  An automated miniature defibrillator - a device that jolts the heart with electricity during a heart attack - that is small enough to implant inside a person;

*  A pacemaker that automatically increases a person's heart rate during exercise;

*  A portable electrocardiograph that patients use to monitor the electrical patterns of their own hearts;

*  A miniature cuff that fits over the pinky-size limbs of premature infants to measure blood pressure, heart and respiratory rates, and the amount of oxygen in the blood;

*  A regenerative tissue graft made from a layer of a pig's intestines known as small intestinal submucosa, or SIS, which has been used by surgeons to treat more than 200,000 patients so far; and,

*  A device that tells medical personnel whether they are properly administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The device could be crucial in saving lives because every minute of delay in resuscitation reduces the chance of survival by 10 percent.

The awards program was created seven years ago to recognize excellence, promote innovation, encourage emulation of successful programs, educate the general public, contribute to the enhancement of the value and quality of health care and, ultimately, give recognition to those deserving.

Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709,

Source: Leslie Geddes, (765) 494-2997,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Leslie Geddes and doctoral candidate Rebecca Roeder test a device they invented that uses optical techniques to measure the vital signs of premature infants. (Purdue file photo/Vincent Walter)

A publication-quality photograph is available at

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