Surgical CTO Spotlight

Surgical Clinical Trials Office is in the Spotlight.   Read more on the team whose approach to the management side of clinical research ensures that researchers themselves do not have to handle administrative, compliance and financial tasks but can instead concentrate on research.

Recent news & media coverage

Dr. Herbert Ward

Department of Surgery Mourns the Loss of Herbert Ward, MD, PhD

Herb was devoted to this University and department dedicating his entire career for more than five decades performing surgery, conducting research and teaching the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons.


Todd Tuttle, MD Appointed Vice Chair of Global Surgery and Disparities

Todd Tuttle, MD has been appointed Vice Chair of Global Surgery and Disparities.  In this role he will seek to develop an academic global surgery program that will promote clinical service, research, and education in resource-limited communities globally and in the United States (especially within the Indian Health Service). He will continue his previous clinical practice and research activities, but will step down as Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology.

Lisa Rogers

Creation of Surgery Research Support Services Office

Sayeed Ikramuddin, MD, MHA, Chair of the Department of Surgery, has created a new research infrastructure to provide increased resources and a single source for research related support with the creation of a new office named - Surgery Research Support Services.  This new research entity is tasked with providing researchers with a one-stop resource, supporting them throughout the research life cycle - from concept - to post award reporting requirements.   Surgery Research Support Services will now provide a singular point of contact for those DOS faculty, post-docs, fell

Additional Stories

1st Randomized Controlled Trial for Biopsy- Proven NASH Receives IRB Approval

The IRB has approved the first randomized controlled trial to compare lifestyle modification with and without Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) in adult patients with biopsy-proven NASH. This trial will not only evaluate the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of a large scale trial comparing these differing treatments but will also examine the impact of massive weight loss per se on improving NASH histology.  Sayeed Ikramuddin, MD, MHA is the principal investigator.

New PGY-1 General Surgery Residents - Match Day 2019

The Department of Surgery welcomes seven new general surgery categorical residents.  Congratulations to this highly accomplished group of future surgeons and leaders in academic surgery.  We look forward to their arrival as the intern class in June. 


PGY-1 General Surgery Categorical and Rural Residents 2019-2020 Academic Year

Jessica Diaz - University of Minnesota Medical School

Remembering Earl Bakken

Remembering Earl Bakken Earl Bakken

The Pacemaker and the Birth of a Medical Device Industry

In 1958, a new device entered cardiac surgery’s medical arsenal that has become part and parcel of cardiac medicine—pacemakers connected directly to the heart.  Dr. C. Walton Lillehei at the time while conducting research on animal models, learned that the heart's electrical system can be prompted to perform correctly with artificial assistance, that is, by sending an electrical pulse delivered through electrodes in direct contact with cardiac tissue.   These findings led to the first rudimentary pacemaker. However, it relied on a physical connection to the hospital’s electrical system, leaving the patient vulnerable to power failures.  

Improvements came with a productive collaboration with Earl Bakken, an electrical engineer who maintained the electrical equipment used by the Department of Surgery. In 1958, the same year that Lillehei invented the pacemaker concept, he and Bakken developed a wearable pacemaker. It was so effective that it was quickly adapted to aid nonsurgical cardiac patients. Demand for the product became so high that Bakken and his brother-in-law, Palmer Hermundslie, incorporated a new business entity—Medtronic. Capitalizing on emerging technologies such as lithium ion batteries, Medtronic introduced implantable pacemakers in 1960. Today, Medtronic is a cornerstone of the medical device industry in Minnesota that became known as Medical Alley and then LifeScience Alley. Thus, the fruitful collaboration between cardiac surgery and electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota became the basis for the birth of a new global industry.