Dr. Simpson received his B.S. in Agriculture from Ohio State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical
Science from the University of Texas at Houston. He received his M.D. from the Duke University School of Medicine and
completed a fellowship in interventional cardiology at Stanford University. A noted clinician, scientist, and serial
entrepreneur, Dr. Simpson is widely recognized as developing the over-the-wire balloon angioplasty catheter. This
invention was one of the landmark events leading to the broader application of a percutaneous approach for
interventional cardiology techniques in the area of coronary and peripheral revascularization. This device was the
foundation of a company called Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., in 1978 and was the first of a series of
inventions by Dr. Simpson that have helped so many patients afflicted with coronary artery disease.
Dr. Simpson is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Stanford University. He served as a Staff Cardiologist at Sequoia
Hospital in Redwood City, California since 1981. He has published extensively on a wide variety of topics pertaining to
interventional cardiology and has been an invited speaker throughout the world. He has been honored with the Andreas
Greuntzig Award from the European Cardiology Society, the Duke University Alumni Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award
from the Trans-Catheter Therapeutics Conference, and the Distinguished Alumnus for the University of Texas Graduate
School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston.
Over the course of his renowned career, Dr. Simpson has founded and successfully handed off several companies including
Advanced Cardiovascular Systems and Devices for Vascular Intervention, both acquired by Eli Lilly; Cardiovascular
Imaging Systems, acquired by Boston Scientific; Perclose, sold to Abbott; Lumend, acquired by Cordis; and Fox Hollow,
acquired by ev3 and which is now part of Medtronic. Most recently, he founded Avinger, Inc. in 2007 and served as its
Chief Executive Officer through 2014 and as Executive Chairman from December, 2014 through 2017.