William S. Pierce
Who is William S. Pierce?
William S. Pierce is the cardiothoracic surgeon and chemical engineer who led development of the first pneumatic heart assist pump. The Pierce-Donachy Ventricular Assist Device, also known as the Penn State Assist Pump, was designated an International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1990.
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Pierce received his B.S. degree from Lehigh University in chemical engineering in 1958 and subsequently attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he obtained an M.D. degree in 1962, together with an Alpha Omega Alpha honor. He received his surgical training at the University of Pennsylvania and at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
In 1970, Pierce was asked to join the surgical faculty at the new College of Medicine of Pennsylvania State University. He was appointed professor of surgery in 1977 and subsequently served as chief of the Division of Artificial Organs, chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, director of surgical research, and associate chair of the Department of Surgery. He was awarded the Faculty Scholar Medal in 1983 and in 1986 was named Evan Pugh Professor, the University's highest academic honor.
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