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John Simpson Biography

John Simpson has helped revolutionize the field of medicine through innovations that fundamentally altered how physicians treat cardiovascular disease. In 1981, he created a new catheter system for coronary angioplasty with an independently steerable guidewire in the central lumen of the balloon catheter, patented as the over-the-wire balloon angioplasty catheter. This contribution was essential in enabling selective and controlled catheterization of remote blood vessels while preventing inappropriate entry into collateral branches. 

Simpson founded Avinger, Inc., in 2007, serving served as its CEO and then executive chair before retiring in 2017. He also started numerous other companies, including Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, Perclose, FoxHollow Technologies, and Devices for Vascular Intervention. He now focuses his efforts on the treatment of vascular disease through the development of new technologies combined with a new approach to optical imaging.

A member of the American College of Physicians and fellow in the American College of Cardiology, he has published on a variety of medical subjects and lectured extensively throughout the world.

Simpson received his M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Texas, and his M.D. from Duke University, completing his fellowship in interventional cardiology at Stanford University.