In Memoriam Dr. Máximo E. Valentinuzzi Ph.D.

In Memoriam Dr. Máximo E. Valentinuzzi Ph.D. 150 150 IEEE EMBS

It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we inform that Dr. Máximo E. Valentinuzzi Ph.D. (Max), an IEEE EMBS life fellow (IEEE/EMB member of more than 50 years), passed away on January 2nd, 2021.  Máximo Valentinuzzi was born in Buenos Aires on February 24, 1932, he received a degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and, later, a Doctor of Physiology and Biophysics from the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. He developed extensive activities as Professor, both at Emory University in Atlanta (Georgia), and at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston (Texas) where he developed his work in Physiology. He has served as a Full Professor from 1972 until his mandatory retirement in 2003 at the Bioelectronics Laboratory at the National University of Tucumán (UNT).  He promoted the development of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Bioengineering in Argentina but his pioneering contributions both academically and scientifically are widely recognized in all of Latin America and internationally.  He was co-founder (1981) and director (1987) of the Argentine Higher Institute for Biological Research (INSIBIO), of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET). Between 2007 and 2016 he actively worked as a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IIBM) of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). During this period, he collaborated on topics related to the modeling of the circulatory system such as ventricular hypertrophy, the prediction of ventricular fibrillation and in vector-cardiography models. Dr. Valentinuzzi was the author of more than 150 scientific papers, 3 books, numerous book chapters, and guest editor in 10 special issues of renowned journals in his specialty.  Dr. Valentinuzzi received over 25 awards and honors for his work including:1973 Nightingale Award for Bioengineering (from the IFMBE, and the Biological Engineering Society of London).

  • 1981 Bernardo A. Houssay Award -in collaboration with the Argentine Society of Biology- for his contributions on defibrillation. 
  • 1984 Golden Tour Award for Sciences, by the Society of Newspaper Distributors of Buenos Aires. 
  • 1985 Catalina B. de Barón Award, with the Favaloro Foundation Bioengineering Laboratory, for the project on intracardiac impedance.
  • 1989, Awarded the title of Academician of the National Academy of Engineering,
  • 1990 Member of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Córdoba,
  • In 1996, the IEEE / EMBS awarded him the Career Achievement Award, being the only Latin American recipient of an award of this type for Biomedical Engineering. 
  • 1997 Founding Fellow of the International Academy for Medical and Biological Engineering, in  Nice, France. 
  • 2004, Bernardo Houssay Award from the SECyT, for Career in Scientific and Technological Research
  • 2005 Félix Cernuschi Award for Bioengineering, from the National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of the UBA.
  • 2018 IFMBE Life Honorary Member, Prague, Czech Republic

 During that same year he was awarded the Konex Prize in the area of Communications..  As reflected by his many awards and recognitions, his remarkable scientific contributions cover a spectrum of fields including bioimpedance, cardiovascular system, fibrillation-defibrillation, impedance microbiology, numerical deconvolution and biomedical engineering education.  He was also founding member and president of the Latin American Regional Council of Biomedical Engineering (CORAL) and founding fellow of International Academy for Medical and Biological Engineering.  Over the years, Max became known for a personal, humanistic view of science among his colleagues, students and disciples.  Dedication and discipline were accompanied with kindness, affection and cultivation of human values. In his thoughts, he always believed that “to be” was remarkably better than “to have”.  For about the last 10 years he took over where Les Geddes left-off on the Retrospectroscope column in EMB Pulse magazine. Max drew on his diverse experience to produce articles of wide interest and historical content. Among his other passions that can be highlighted are healthy living and nature, playing sports, caring for animals, playing the piano (Max was a Tango master-enthusiast) and long talks with children on Sundays He is survived by his wife Nilda, and daughters Debora Fabiana and Veronica.  Our heart-felt condolences to his family, friends and relatives. Max left a large professional and personal footprint; he will be dearly missed by the global Biomedical Engineering Community.