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U honors pacemaker inventor with honorary M.D.

Pacemaker inventor Earl Bakken receives an honorary medical degree from Medical School Dean Deborah Powell, M.D., as University President Robert Bruininks, Ph.D. looks on.

The University of Minnesota Medical School in December presented Earl Bakken, inventor of the first battery-powered, wearable pacemaker and cofounder of Medtronic, Inc., with its first-ever honorary M.D. degree.

Medical School Dean Deborah Powell, M.D., presented Bakken with the award during a daylong scientific symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of the invention of the pacemaker.

“The University has a rich legacy in the cardiovascular sciences, including a leading role in the development of the wearable battery-powered pacemaker,” says Paul Iaizzo, Ph.D., program organizer and professor of surgery at the University. “This symposium is designed to honor Earl Bakken’s contributions to the medical device industry and offer a glimpse into the future of biomedical devices.”

The event was sponsored by the Medical School and Academic Health Center with support from LifeScience Alley.

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