In memoriam: Mark E. Josephson, MD

Mark Josephson

Mark E. Josephson, MD, a transformational figure in cardiac electrophysiology and a pioneer in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, died on January 11, 2017.

Dr. Josephson dedicated his career to improving the lives of patients suffering from arrhythmia disorders and to training subsequent generations of electrophysiologists. His book, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology: Techniques and Interpretations, is the definitive text on the subject. Born in New York City in 1943, Mark graduated from Trinity College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York and his fellowship in cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He spent two years as a research associate at Staten Island Public Health Service Hospital, where many of his innovative ideas were first put into practice in collaboration with cardiologists there. Dr. Josephson contributed both clinically and scientifically to the community of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, ascending the faculty ranks to become Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in 1981. In 1992 he became the director of the Harvard-Thorndike Arrhythmia Institute and in 2001, Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Dr. Josephson, a member of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) since 1979, served on several HRS committees and received multiple awards (Distinguished Scientist Award in 2015; Founders Lectureship Award in 2012; Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology in 2001; and the Distinguished Teacher Award in 1996). A research fellowship award (the Clinical Research Award in Honor of Mark Josephson and Hein Wellens) and a symposium at HRS’ Scientific Sessions (2015) were named in his honor.

Mark was a friend, a colleague, a mentor, and a role model. And as expressed by HRS Past President Sanjeev Saksena, MBBS, FHRS, "He will be long remembered for the passion and excitement he brought into the discipline."

He is predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Joan Ellen Eisenberg Josephson. He was a devoted father to Rachel and Stephanie; loving "Poppi" to Sylvie, Elan, and Sydney; and loving brother to Diane and Alan.

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