Chair, AIMBE College of Fellows
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. It 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 accelerated because implantation could be performed on an out-patient basis and made it possible for frail patients to receive pacemaker therapy. Every pacemaker company adopted this innovation and it continues to be sold 40 years after it first entered the market.
Citron has a B.S.E.E from Drexel University and an M.S.E.E. from the University of Minnesota. In 2013, he received an honorary Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Drexel University. He was elected a Founding Fellow of AIMBE in 1993. Citron was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2003 where he has served on its Peer Committee, Committee on Membership, and the Draper Prize Committee as its Chair in 2012. He served two terms as an NAE Councillor and was a member of the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. He served on three Institute of Medicine, recently re-named 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 Academy of Medicine’s Health and Medicine Division advisory committee. He is an advisor to start-up firms in the medical device and biotechnology sector. He is also a member of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (La Jolla, CA) Leadership Institute, an external advisory body.