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Methodist heart and transplant surgeon speaks at National Science Foundation lecture series

Houston, TX - 5/22/2007

Dr. George Noon, cardiac and transplant surgeon at The Methodist Hospital, spoke at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Washington, DC recently as part of the Engineering Distinguished Lecture series.

The lecture series was established by the NSF to initiate cross-fertilization of ideas among NSF staff and top research communities around the world, specifically highlighting important engineering concepts and accomplishments. 

Previous distinguished lecturers have included Nobel Laureates and international leaders in engineering, aeronautics, technology and medicine.

Noon’s presentation was titled, “Development of an axial flow left ventricular assist device from inception to clinical application.”  Noon and famed heart surgeon, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, invented the MicroMed DeBakey Noon VAD in 1996 after treating NASA engineer David Saucier, who contributed extensively to the design of the axial flow device.

This VAD differs from all other VADs on the market primarily because of its small size that is enabled by the axial flow design.  It’s size – approximately 1/10th the size of other VADs on the market - makes it more accommodating for smaller patients, including children, and enables it to be fully implanted, providing greater quality of life for patients needing mechanical assistance for advanced heart failure. 

As of December 2006, over 400 people have been implanted with the device. 

For more information about the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center, see www.debakeyheartcenter.com.  For more information about the Methodist Transplant Center, see www.methodisttransplantcenter.com.