Health Supernova 2022 Health Supernova 2022
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Living Without a Pulse

- CDT
Room 101

William (Billy) Cohn
Johnson & Johnson, Executive Director

Dr. William E. “Billy” Cohn is a Vice President for Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies and the Executive Director of the Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. In addition, he is a tenured Professor of Surgery in the Department of Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Assist at Baylor College of Medicine and an Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at both Rice University and the University of Houston. 

Dr. Cohn has a passion for medical device development and has more than 150 U.S. patents granted or pending for his medical device innovations that have provided the core technology for eight venture-backed medical start-ups, four of which have been acquired by large med-tech companies.

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Cohn was the Director of the legendary Cullen Cardiovascular Research Laboratory at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston where he was, and continues to be,  intimately involved in the development of the continuous-flow, totally implantable, artificial heart.  In 2011, Dr. Cohn and Dr. O. H. Frazier successfully implanted the first pulseless total heart replacement device in a human patient. 

Dr. Cohn sits on the Board of Directors of BiVACOR USA and Cardiovascular Systems Inc. Previously, he sat on the boards of SentreHeart, Inc., TVA Medical, Tenaxis Medical Inc., Pluromed Inc., and On-X Life Technologies.  


Texas as a hotspot for health innovation goes way back. In the 1960s, at the Texas Medical Center, three physicians pioneered heart transplant procedures, the development of left ventricular assist devices (LVAD), and work with artificial hearts. Their efforts changed the face of heart failure. Today, more than 50,000 people have had continuous flow pumps, like the LVAD, implanted.

In this talk, noted surgeon and inventor Dr. Billy Cohn will take us on an illuminating journey of the evolution of human and artificial heart transplants — and offer a look at the future of the artificial heart field. Don’t miss this chance for an expert view into breakthrough medical devices and life-changing innovations such as the design of an artificial heart overnight via a 3-D printer, smart motors and components, and breakthroughs in pumps for both sides of the heart.