Our History

In 1968, Alfred Mann made a donation to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to support development of a smaller, longer-lasting cardiac pacemaker. At that time, pacemakers weighed about half a pound and required major surgical replacement every 18-21 months. In 1969, Johns Hopkins persuaded Mr. Mann to form a company to take over the development.

That company, Pacesetter Systems (now St. Jude Medical Corporation), developed a small and very long-lived pacemaker with many disruptive advances. Those innovations enabled the company to grow rapidly into the second largest cardiac pacemaker company, improving the lives of countless individuals.

From that experience, Mr. Mann concluded that while great research is created in universities, rarely does that work translate into products that benefit the public. Pondering on how the process could be improved, he decided in 1985 to establish the Alfred Mann Foundation to bridge basic research in medicine and to create products that filled unmet and poorly-met needs. During these intervening years AMF has advanced many new technologies, fulfilling Mr. Mann’s visions for improving the lives of people in need. AMF was established with a mandate to develop medical technologies that will be made accessible to the public. Since 1985, AMF has charted an aggressive path of bringing life-enhancing technologies to those in greatest need by adhering to its mission statement: To develop and commercialize innovative solutions for significant unmet or poorly met medical conditions.