Dr. George P. Noon, professor in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery and the Meyer-DeBakey Chair in Investigative Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, was honored with the 2014 Ben and Margaret Love Foundation Bobby Alford Award for Academic Clinical Professionalism.
The award recognizes his 50-plus years of service to the medical community as an academic, a physician and an internationally respected pioneering researcher.
“It is an honor to be considered and then selected to receive the Ben and Margaret Love Foundation Bobby Alford Award for Academic Clinical Professionalism,” Noon said. “It emphasizes the importance of combining our medical skills with professionalism to become the complete physician.”
Noon first came to Baylor as a student in 1956, completed his residency at Baylor and later joined the Baylor faculty in 1965. His work focuses on organ transplant and cardiac assist devices.
In 1968, Noon and Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, the first president of Baylor and world renowned heart surgeon, along with their surgical team, performed their first multiorgan transplant — a heart, lung and two kidneys. Research continued and Noon soon became the leading surgeon for insertion of ventricular assist devices. His pioneering work in this area led to the approval of several of the early ventricular assist devices.
In 1988, work began on an entirely new kind of pump – a miniature axial flow device about the size of a C battery. The work began with a discussion of a heart transplant patient who happened to be a NASA engineer. That started the ball rolling on the new pump, which would become the MicroMed DeBakey-Noon ventricular assist device. The first implants were performed in Berlin in 1998. A year later Noon was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame.
His close association with DeBakey brought him both personal and professional satisfaction. As he wrote in the November-December issue of the ASAIO Journal, “I have known Dr. DeBakey since medical school. I was associated with him as a student, surgical resident, faculty in the department of surgery, surgeon for his dissecting aneurysm and as a friend. Dr. DeBakey excelled as a student, physician, surgeon, soldier, educator, researcher, diplomat, visionary, statesman and leader.”
Throughout the years, Noon has remained a consummate teacher, innovator and surgeon, treating countless patients and training numerous generations of surgeons. He has held appointments at Houston Methodist Hospital and the Texas Heart Institute and has performed surgery throughout the world.
He has been honored by numerous medical societies such as the Houston Surgical Society, Houston Methodist Hospital, the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, Open Door Mission Foundation and the American Cancer League.
Noon has had hundreds of publications and is regularly invited to speak as guest lecturer at international events. He is a Fellow with both the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology. He served as president of the Michael E. DeBakey International Surgical Society and chairman of the board of the DeBakey Foundation and holds memberships to many other surgical societies.
Noon was presented with the 2014 Ben and Margaret Love Foundation Bobby Alford Award for Academic Clinical Professionalism on Aug. 15 at the Baylor College of Medicine White Coat Ceremony for first-year medical students.