Paul Citron, MSEE, Ph.D. (hon.)
Board of Directors Observer
Board of Directors Observer
Paul Citron retired in 2003 from Medtronic, Inc., a pioneer in the medical device industry and the largest developer of implantable therapeutic devices. He was Vice President of Technology Policy and Academic Relations. Previously he was Medtronic’s Vice President of Science and Technology for over 15 years, responsible for corporate-wide assessment and coordination of technology initiatives and for prioritization and funding of corporate research. These executive positions followed a progression of R&D assignments over his 32-year career at Medtronic where he developed and helped bring to the bedside technologies that advanced the utility, safety and effectiveness of innovative implanted medical devices. He has authored numerous medical technology peer reviewed publications and has been an invited speaker at biomedical engineering conferences, workshops, symposia, and university classrooms. Citron holds nine U.S. medical device patents, including one that was designated “Patent of Distinction” by Medtronic for its positive impact on patient wellbeing. This novel pacemaker lead design permitted for the first-time reliable long-term cardiac stimulation without the need for an open-chest surgical procedure. Consequently, this innovation rapidly became the “treatment of choice” in the medical community. It sharply reduced the incidence of interruption of pacemaker stimulation because of electrode dislodgement and the need for urgent reoperation to restore effective stimulation. Market growth for pacemakers was sharply accelerated because implantation could be performed on an out-patient basis. This made it possible for frail patients who could not withstand the rigors of a major open-chest surgery to receive pacemaker therapy. Every pacemaker company adopted this innovation and it continues to be sold 40 years after it first entered the market. It is estimated more than 10 million patients around the world have received this pacemaker lead innovation.
Citron received a B.S.E.E (1969) from Drexel University and an M.S.E.E. (1972) from the University of Minnesota. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Drexel University.
Citron was elected a Founding Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 1993 and in 2018 was chosen as chairperson-elect (now chairperson) of its College of Fellows. Citron was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2003 where he has served on a number of leadership committees. He served on three National Academy of Medicine consensus studies: Safe Medical Devices for Children (2005); Rare Diseases and Orphan Products: Accelerating Research and Development (2011); and, Identifying and Prioritizing New Preventive Vaccines for Development: Phase I, II, and III. In 2015 he was appointed to the National Academy of Medicine’s Health and Medicine Division advisory committee. In 2019 Citron was elected to the National Academy of Inventors class of 2020.
Citron has taught graduate courses on corporate entrepreneurship at Georgia Tech and the University of California San Diego where he is an adjunct faculty member. He is an advisor to several start-up firms in the medical device and biotechnology sector. In 2018 he was invited to serve on the scientific advisory board of the newly formed Center for Dialysis Innovation at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is also a member of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (La Jolla, CA) Leadership Institute, an external advisory body. He serves on the UC San Diego Health’s Committee on Science, Technology and Global Initiatives Board of Advisors as well as the UCSD Bioengineering Department’s Board of Trustees.
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