Jason A. Sholder, PhD

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Jason as a teenager invented the Clapper, the rights to which he subsequently sold. He graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a BS in Electrical Engineering. His first job was in the Pacemaker Division of American Optical working with Barouh Berkovitz who holds the patents for the first demand pacemaker and the first dual chamber (bifocal-DVI) pacemaker. When AO exited the pacing fieldd, he signed on with the Pacemaker Division of General Electric. I met Jason when he was a “Sales Engineer” for General Electric’s Pacemaker Division in 1976 when I was a third year fellow in cardiology at Boston University. I had just accepted an offer to stay on as a faculty at BU and one of my responsibilities would be pacemakers and arrhythmias. Jason was one the only “sales rep” who would talk to me and we spent hours together. He actually taught me a lot about pacemakers at the time and I taught him something about electrocardiology. When GE went out of the pacemaker business, he got a job at a small start-up pacemaker company that, at the time, was in the red in Sylmar, CA (Pacesetter Systems, Inc.) in their Marketing Department. In 1987, he was among the first group of allied professionals to take and pass the NASPExAM (now IBHRE). About 6 months after he joined Pacesetter and I was now officially junior faculty at BU, he invited me to become a consultant. From there, our relationship continued to grow and in 1988, we started discussions about my moving to California to become VP for Medical Affairs at what was then Siemens Pacesetter. Jason had advanced to VP for Clinical Affairs and subsequently, Senior VP for Research when the company was St. Jude Medical. He is phenomenally innovative — talk about someone who thinks outside of the box with well in excess of 100 issued patents including the DDI mode restoring atrial sensing to avoid competition that was common with earlier generation DVI mode, he drove the development of Siemens Pacesetter first dual unipolar DDD pacemaker (the AFPTM) and was a major driving force behind many of the subsequent devices from both Siemens Pacesetter and St. Jude Medical. When he retired from St. Jude Medical, he earned his Ph.D. and founded a number of companies working on using the intracardiac electrogram to monitor organ rejection as well as including an ECG and GPS monitoring in home alert system.

Paul A. Levine, MD, FHRS, CCDS

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