Robert E. Fischell received his BSME degree from Duke University and MS and ScD degrees from the University of Maryland. Dr. Fischell was employed at the Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for 25 years and part-time for an additional 13 years. At John’s Hopkins Dr. Fischell was the Chief Engineer of the Space Department where he worked on more than 50 spacecraft. His interests at Johns Hopkins then turned to the invention of new medical devices such as pacemakers and implantable heart defibrillators.
Starting in 1969, Dr. Fischell began the formation of 14 private companies that licensed his patents on medical devices. These companies included Pacesetter Systems, Inc. (now called St. Jude Medical, the second largest manufacturer of heart pacemakers), IsoStent, Inc. (new stent concepts now licensed to the Johnson & Johnson Company), NeuroPace, Inc. (a responsive electrical stimulator of brain tissue to eliminate epileptic seizures), NeuraLieve, Inc (a company that uses high intensity magnetic pulses to alleviate migraine headaches), and Angel Medical Systems, Inc.
Dr. Fischell is a prolific inventor with over 200 issued US and foreign patents many of which have started new medical device companies. He is a Trustee of the University of Maryland, College Park Foundation and a member of the Board of Visitors for the College of Engineering and the College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Dr. Fischell’s honors include Inventor of the Year for the USA, election to the National Academy of Engineering, the Distinguished Physics Alumnus Award of the U. of Md., and several medals for distinguished accomplishments in science, engineering and innovation. In 2004 Discover magazine gave Dr. Fischell their annual award for Technology for Humanity. In 2005 he received the TED award (with a $100,000 prize) for contributions to medical technology. In 2007 he received the Master Inventor award from the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University and the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Prize for Public Service from the Woodrow Wilson Society for Scholars.