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LESLIE A. GEDDES

1921–2009

Elected in 1985

“For his contributions in combining electrical and physiological principles with pioneering efforts in biomedical research.”

BY KINAM PARK
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY

The Geddes Way

At the northwest corner of the city of West Lafayette, the home of Purdue University, there is a street leading to a huge, Star Trek–like, pyramid-shaped building that is leaning forward as if about to tip over. It feels like one is entering the Twilight Zone when walking the street toward the building that houses MED Institute, Inc. The name of the street is Geddes Way. The street is, of course, named after Professor Leslie A. Geddes. This is a most appropriate name for the street, as Les Geddes was never afraid of crossing the Twilight Zone into a land whose boundaries are those of one’s imagination. In fact, he pursued a journey into the fifth dimension of imagination throughout his entire life. To Les, imagination was the only limitation to what he did. He had a curiosity-driven, can-do-anything mindset, and such a positive attitude was the source of his endless successes until the day he died.

Les Geddes was born on May 24, 1921 in Port Gordon, Scotland. His family moved to Canada, where he studied electrical engineering and obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees from McGill University in Montreal. Then he enrolled at Baylor University’s College of Medicine, in Texas, to obtain his Ph.D. degree in physiology. Being a graduate student at Baylor brought him the opportunity to work on a part of the space program. He participated in developing impedance



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