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Sven Paulin
Oct. 26, 1926-Jan. 10, 2014
Needham, MA

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Sven Paulin M.D. Ph.D., pioneer of coronary angiography, has died at 87.

Sven Paulin, M.D. PhD, (10/18/1926- 1/10/14) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home on Jan. 10, 2014.

One of the pioneers in modern radiology, Dr. Paulin was highly regarded throughout the world for his work by both the radiology and cardiology communities. At the time of his death, he was Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and had been working regularly in the Department of Radiology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, as he had for almost a half century. He led a full and active life until this death.

Dr. Paulin was born in Bad-Muenster am Stein, Germany, and immigrated in 1953 to Sweden, where he met his wife, Birgit, a few years later. In 1970 he immigrated with his family to the United States and became an American citizen in 1979. He loved the personal and academic freedom that the United States provided him and his family.

Dr. Paulin was an avid sports enthusiast, dedicated chess player, voracious reader, and art and oyster lover.

In 1951, he graduated from the University of Mainz, Germany, with a Doctor of Medicine degree. He then received the degree of Medical License from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1958.

This was followed some years later by the degree of Medicine Doctor (equivalent to a Ph.D.) from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

In 1965, Coronary Angiography was a new field when Dr. Paulin, as a doctoral candidate at the University of Gothenburg, published his dissertation on the subject. His doctoral thesis, "Coronary Angiography A Technical, Anatomic and Clinical Study," written 50 years ago, was recognized as a landmark immediately after publication. Coronary angiography, the graphic demonstration of the coronary arteries in the living patient, is one of the most often practiced invasive diagnostic procedures today. His colleagues at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) say that is in large part due to Dr. Paulin himself.

Shortly after the publication of the thesis, Dr. Paulin was invited to study at Stanford by Herbert Abrams, M.D. In 1970, Dr. Paulin became Radiologist-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital and was awarded a full Professorship in Radiology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1974, he was further honored by being the first recipient of an endowed chair in Radiology by the family of Miriam M. Stoneman and retired from this position in 1994. He continued to work in the department until his retirement from medicine on his 87th birthday in 2013.

He was also a visiting associate professor of radiology at the Stanford School of Medicine for 18 months, from 1966 to 1968, in the department of Herbert Abrams. He opened a clinical and experimental research program under Dr. Abrams.

Dr. Paulin is survived by his wife of 57 years, Birgit, and his four children Susanne of Raleigh, NC, Magnus of Cambridge, Mass., Helena and Viveca, of Los Angeles, CA. In addition five grandchildren, Elizabeth of Los Angeles, CA Michael of Raliegh, NC, Magnus, Mattias, Axel of Los Angeles, and his sister Tosca Roeren, of Bad Muenster Am Stein and several nieces and nephews in Sweden and Germany survive him. Some of his family also previously resided in Menlo Park.

Tags: teacher/educator

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Memorial service
Funeral services will be private; a public memorial will be announced at a later date.
Make a donation
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dr. Sven Paulin Research Fellowship in Cardiothoracic ImagingChecks can be mailed to: Trudy Howard, Office of Development, BIDMC, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. For gifts via check, make checks payable to "BIDMC." In the memo section, please annotate that the gift is in memory of Dr. Sven Paulin. For gifts via phone/credit card, contact Trudy Howard at 617-667-3393.

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