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William Schuler Pierce, M.D.

William Schuler Pierce, M.D. is Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Surgery at Penn State College of Medicine. He is known worldwide for his ground breaking research in circulatory assist and artificial heart pumps. Pierce led the university team that developed the Penn State Heart, one of only two air-driven, temporary artificial heart designs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in humans.

Pierce received his B.S. in chemical engineering in 1958 from Lehigh University and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. He completed a rotating internship in 1963 and was an assistant resident in surgery from 1963 to 1965 and then from 1967 to 1968, all at the University of Pennsylvania. He interrupted his residency program to be clinical associate, surgical section, National Heart Institute, National Institutes of Health, from July 1965 to June 1967. He was a resident in surgery at the University of Pennsylvania from 1968 to 1969 and a resident in thoracic surgery from 1969 to 1970. From July 1965 to June 1967 he was a lieutenant commander, surgeon in the U.S. Public Health Service.

In 1970 he joined the faculty of Penn State College of Medicine as assistant professor of surgery and became associate professor in 1973. He was named full professor in 1977. In 1983 he became chief, Division of Artificial Organs, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine, and in March 1986 he was named Jane A. Fetter Professor of Surgery. In October 1986 he was named Evan Pugh Professor of Surgery, the highest distinction Penn State can bestow upon a faculty member. In 1991, Pierce became chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and in 1995 director of research and associate chairman, Department of Surgery. He was designated an Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus on February 8, 1997.

Pierce holds nine patents including two for surgical gloves, one for an artificial heart, two for heart valves and one for a blood pump. He shares patents in 16 countries for a right ventricular assist device. He has written more than 275 journal articles, 90 book chapters and presented more than 150 papers.

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