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  IPN Honors Distinguished Graduate Alumnus

Washington State University's Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience (IPN) joined the university's 100 years of graduate education April 16, 2002 by honoring its first Distinguished Graduate Alumnus, Dr. Mark Knudson.

Dr. Knudson received his B.S. (Biology) from Pacific Lutheran University and went on to earn his Ph.D. (Physiology) from the WSU's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1974. He was awarded a National Institute of Health Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship at Washington State University and was a post-doctoral fellow and faculty member at the University of Washington School of Medicine from 1975 through 1979.

Dr. Knudson began his career in the medical device industry in 1979 at


Mark Knudson, Ph.D.
  Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. (CPI) where he held positions of increasing responsibility culminating in Director of Applied Research. In 1983, he left CPI to found Arden Medical Systems, a start-up company developing a physician office diagnostic system. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Arden Medical until its 1986 acquisition by Johnson and Johnson, Inc. Following the acquisition, he was named President of Johnson and Johnson Professional Diagnostics, Inc., a position he held until 1989. Since 1989, he has been a partner of Medical Innovation Partners, a venture capital firm whose mission has been to invest in new technologies that reduce health care costs while improving patient outcomes.

Currently, Dr. Knudson is Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Venturi Group, LLC, a venture capital-backed medical device incubator. He also serves as President and CEO of Pi Medical, Inc ( Founded by Venturi Group, Pi Medical develops products for the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing. He also serves as Chair of HeartStent Corporation. HeartStent was founded in 1996 to develop his invention for a novel approach to the treatment of coronary artery disease involving direct ventricles to coronary artery blood flow (VCAB). He serves on the Board of Directors of Diametrics Medical, Inc (NASDAQ: DMED).

Knudson has been awarded over 40 US and foreign patents which have resulted in the founding of several successful medical product companies. He has published articles, been called to testify before Congress on medical issues, spoken at numerous conferences and has been a professional advisor to many companies and institutions.

Research Overview:

Dr. Knudson’s research interests have primarily focused on the study of the cardiovascular system and its response to stress. His thesis research characterized the hemodynamic response to atrial arrhythmias, especially atrial fibrillation. His post-doctoral work and his studies while at the University of Washington were focused on elucidating the mechanisms involved in calcium ion metabolism in the heart. The models studied included exhaustive exercise in human skeletal and rat cardiac muscle and a hamster genetically pre-disposed to the development of cardio-myopathy.

Dr. Knudson’s research in industry has continued with studies evaluating the effect of exercise at fixed heart rates, biosensors for use in biological fluids, minimally invasive methods for the measurement of blood glucose, a novel approach to coronary artery bypass in humans utilizing an implant to direct blood directly from the left ventricle of the heart to a blocked coronary artery and methods for stabilization of the human airway to treat sleep disordered breathing. This research has resulted in numerous patents on which Dr. Knudson is a named inventor as well as several publications in the scientific and medical literature.

Call for Nominations for Distinguished Alumnus

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