Wilton "Will" W. Webster, Jr.
First Deflectable Tip Catheter
Will Webster's love of science and technology began at an early age, nurtured by his attorney father's passion for engineering, and continued during his years at Cal Tech, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. As a sales representative for a manufacturer of electronic components, he grew frustrated by the company's unwillingness to tailor products to fit customers' specific requirements. He began to develop customized catheters, working with Dr. William Ganz in his kitchen, and later in a rented workspace where he incorporated as Webster Laboratories.
In the 1980s, he responded within 48 hours to a request from Dr. Warren (Sonny) Jackman for a special orthogonal electrode, leading to a decades-long collaboration. They worked together on a device to diagnose and cure Wolf-Parkinson-White Syndrome, leading to the invention of the first steerable tip catheter with an effective RF electrode – a cure known today as RF ablation.
He created a flourishing business, now known as Biosense Webster, improving the lives of cardiac patients worldwide and nurturing its employees. He felt a great responsibility to mentor the next generation of scientists and engineers and prioritized educational and healthcare causes through the Helen and Will Webster Foundation.
In The Road to Scientific Success: Inspiring Life Stories of Prominent Researchers, he described the great satisfaction he felt in his work. "There was no one else but me to fall back on. Surprisingly, the enthusiasm that I had for this undertaking and the challenge to succeed made that easy. I loved the work and my personal freedom."