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ICS Hall of Fame - Norm Zinner

Thursday 21 May 2020 {{NI.ViewCount}} Views {{NI.ViewCount}} Views

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This week's hall of fame member is Norm Zinner.

Norm was a urology resident with Albert Paquin in 1961 in whose unit he met Rog Ritter while focusing on urodynamics studies, where they challenged the common practice that the female urethra often needed dilatation and occasionally even augmentation Y-V plasty because of presumed stenosis. In 1966, after a term in the Navy, he joined the University of Washington, founded a urodynamic laboratory and organized a multidisciplinary team of researchers, engineers, mathematicians, and physicians to study obstruction. He studied obstruction by analyzing high-speed photography that depicted the urine stream in droplets. From this certain deductions could be made about the presence of any obstruction in the urethra or prostate. Thus was born one of the first non-invasive urodynamic methods.

Norm also stimulated the formation of the Standardisation Committee of the ICS, and was a member of the first committee, chaired by Tage Hald. In addition to his contributions to understanding and knowledge, he has an inimitable fund of stories and a delightful way of telling them. The Society for Urodynamics and Female Urology (SUFU), formerly known as the Urodynamic Society (UDS), and ICS owe him a great deal for all his input on their behalf, both as separate societies and in their joint meetings.

Many of his contributions to the ICS include the following many of which are still core to the ICS meetings:

• Introduction to ICS of the moderated poster session
• Evaluation of abstract submissions anonymously rather than having the reviewers know the authors’ names
• A formal debate on a controversial subject,
• Requiring authors to make a statement of scientific purpose for a study being presented, and an indication that the purpose was met and what further scientific issues were raised once the study was completed,
• Independent outside expert to review proceedings of our meeting and to assess the scientific quality and present an overall view of where are we, where are we going and where might we go?

Norman Zinner passed in 2012 but lived life to the fullest. Whether he was at home in California or travelling with his dear wife Nancy and enjoying the wonders of the world, whether he was working at his beloved profession of urology, whether he was at a scientific meeting with his colleagues and friends, Norman was always enthusiastic, involved, challenging himself and others to look at things differently, and above all interested in other people and how they think and feel.

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