IN-PERSON & ZOOM MEETING : Artificial Heart
Apr 06, 2023 12:00 PM
Mark Kurusz
IN-PERSON & ZOOM MEETING : Artificial Heart

Mark Kurusz will talk to us about the development of the artifical heart, and the breakthroughs that made this life-saving technology possible.


About Mark Kurusz:

Mark Kurusz has been a member of the Rotary Club of West Austin since 2011. He spent nearly 40 years as a clinical perfusionist (operates heart-lung machine during cardiac surgery) in two university settings (Penn State-Hershey Medical Center, 1972-1977 and the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston, 1977-2006) and with one contract group in Austin, Texas (2006-2010). Over the course of his career, he had the opportunity to meet many leading figures in the development of artificial organs. This led to a long-time interest in medical history, and he has published several articles and book chapters on historical events and clinical research. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the UTMB Department of Surgery. Today, he will recount the story surrounding the first implantable artificial heart, which occurred in 1969. While the case initially generated euphoria, there was much controversy and criticism concerning details of the event. This led to a famous, decades-long feud between two former colleagues, Drs. Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley. Mark is still involved in blood pumping and works for a start-up company developing a left ventricular assist device for heart failure patients. He and his wife have been married for 50 years, raised three daughters, have seven grandchildren, and have lived in Austin since 2006.