Date(s) - 10/01/2018
Leonard Pinchuk, Ph.D.
Distinguished Research Professor,
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
University of Miami,
President/CEO at Innovia LLC
Dr. Pinchuk’s teams of chemists and engineers have been involved in the development of the fundamental tools that changed radiology and cardiology from a diagnostic discipline to the therapeutic interventional radiology and cardiology that is practiced today. They introduced the first commercially successful angioplasty balloon in the mid-1980’s which demonstrated a success rate of 60%, which led to the development of the coronary stent which incrementally increased the success rate to 67%. The discovery that restenosis was caused by traumatization of the smooth muscle cells in the arterial wall by these interventions, led to the development of the drug-eluting stent which improved the success rate to almost 100%. The most successful drug-eluting stent (TAXUS®) uses SIBS as the carrier for the drug, paclitaxel. The introduction of SIBS in medicine was an overwhelming success which superseded many years of frustration working with polymers that were never designed to be used in the body. The success of SIBS in the cardiovascular system led to the development of the InnFocus MicroShunt®, a micro-conduit used to treat glaucoma by diverting aqueous humor from the anterior chamber of the eye to a flap formed under the conjunctiva. The MicroShunt is currently changing the way advanced glaucoma is treated worldwide. A form of crosslinked polyisobutylene is also being positioned as the material comprising the next generation intraocular lens used in cataract surgery. These novel lenses will be introduced using minimally invasive surgical techniques and will eliminate glistening, hazing and halos that plague the current generation of lenses.
Dr. Pinchuk is a serial inventor and serial entrepreneur with 130 U.S. patents and 10 start-up companies that he co-founded. His major accomplishments include the invention of the most used angioplasty balloon catheters, several biomaterials, coronary stents, stent-grafts, drug-eluting stents, a micro-tube for stopping glaucoma and the next generation intraocular lens. His inventions improved the lives of hundreds of millions of patients with an economic impact well over $100 Billion. He received his Ph.D. in 1984 from the University of Miami; Interdisciplinary in Engineering and Chemistry. He was inducted into Iron Arrow in 2004, received the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Health Care Heroes Award in 2008, received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from McGill University in 2008, was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2012 and received the BIOMED SA Prize (A.K.A. the Palmaz Prize) and the Society for Biomaterials Innovation Prize in 2017. He also enjoys the title of Distinguished Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami.