John Alexander Hopps

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John Alexander "Jack" Hopps
Born(1919-05-21)May 21, 1919
Winnipeg, Manitoba
DiedNovember 24, 1998(1998-11-24) (aged 79)
NationalityCanadian
Occupationmedical researcher
AwardsOrder of Canada

John Alexander "Jack" Hopps, OC (May 21, 1919 – November 24, 1998) was one of the pioneers of the artificial pacemaker and the founder of the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society (CMBES) who have called him the "Father of biomedical engineering in Canada".[1]

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he received a B.Sc.Eng. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1941. He joined the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) in 1942.

In the early 1940s, Hopps was very focused on researching how to pasteurize beer using various waves like radio waves or microwaves.[2] Beginning in 1949, he worked with Dr. Wilfred Bigelow and Dr. John Callaghan at the Banting Institute in the University of Toronto, developing the world's first external artificial pacemaker in 1951. (The first internal pacemaker was implanted in a human body by a Swedish team in 1958.) Hopps initially resented his work at the institute, calling it "an annoying interruption".[3] During this work, Hopps discovered that the heart would contract when subjected to electrical impulses.[4]

Hopps was an advisor to the Sri Lanka health department's Electromedical Division through the Canadian government's Colombo Plan in 1957-58 before returning to the NRC and becoming head of its Medical Engineering Section in 1973.[5]

In 1965, Hopps founded the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society (CMBES) and became its first President.[6] In 1971, he was appointed president of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering. He also served as its secretary general from 1976 to 1985.[2] In 1976, he was awarded the honour of Fellow of the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society.[7] He was also the President of the Ontario Heart Foundation (Ottawa Chapter).

He retired in 1978. In 1985, his autobiography, Passing Pulses, the Pacemaker and Medical Engineering: A Canadian Story, was published.[8] The same year, he also won the A.G.L. McNaughton Award for engineering contributions made as a Canadian.[9]

In 1986, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Administrator. "CMBES Founder". www.cmbes.ca. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  2. ^ a b Axworthy, Nicole (March–April 2003). "Ten extraordinary engineers who made their mark on history". Engineering Dimensions: 30–32.
  3. ^ Hopps, John A. (1981-01-01). "The Development of the Pacemaker". Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology. 4 (1): 106–108. doi:10.1111/j.1540-8159.1981.tb03682.x. ISSN 1540-8159.
  4. ^ Bigelow, W. G. (1984-10-15). "The pacemaker story: A cold heart spin-off". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 131 (8): 943–955. ISSN 0008-4409. PMC 1483732. PMID 20314444.
  5. ^ "John Alexander Hopps fonds". Archival description. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 Sep 2016.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Founder of CMBES, The Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society.
  7. ^ "CMBES Membership Awards - Fellows". Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  8. ^ Hopps, John Alexander (1985). Passing Pulses, the Pacemaker and Medical Engineering: A Canadian Story. Gloucester, Ont. ISBN 9780968101001.
  9. ^ "Recipients of A.G.L. McNaughton Award". IEEE Canada.
  10. ^ The Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame: The Hall, Canada Science and Technology Museum.
Sources