Gill Heart Institute Research Day

Contact: Allison Elliott

Photo of Dejan Nikolic, a pharmacology graduate student, explaining his project to fellow graduate student Mary Garcia
Dejan Nikolic, a pharmacology graduate student, explains his project to fellow graduate student Mary Garcia

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The annual Gill Heart Institute Award recognizes individuals in the prime of their careers who have made outstanding contributions to a particular area of cardiology research. For the 2004 awards, nominations focused on the area of cardiovascular imaging. Nissen was chosen to receive the award from among a group of leaders in the field.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2004) -- In support of regional research in cardiovascular disease and physiology, the University of Kentucky Gill Heart Institute hosted its seventh annual Cardiovascular Research Day Monday, Oct. 25, at the Lexington Convention Center. The day-long event highlighted cardiovascular research and honored leading physicians and scientists for their contributions to cardiovascular care.

The event included comments from UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., and a seminar by Roger Newton, executive vice president of Esperion Therapeutics, a division of Pfizer Global Research and Development.

The day also featured presentations by Dr. Steven E. Nissen and Dr. Molly C. Carr, the respective recipients of the UK Gill Heart Institute Award for Outstanding Contributions and the Young Physician Scientist Award.

Nissen is medical director of the Cleveland Clinic Cardiovascular Coordinating Center. He is being honored for his outstanding contributions in the field of cardiovascular imaging.

The annual Gill Heart Institute Award recognizes individuals in the prime of their careers who have made outstanding contributions to a particular area of cardiology research. For the 2004 awards, nominations focused on the area of cardiovascular imaging. Nissen was chosen to receive the award from among a group of leaders in the field.

”Dr. Nissen is a world-class physician and researcher, and we are pleased to be able to recognize his work in cardiovascular imaging with this award,” said Dr. David Moliterno, professor and vice chair of medicine and chief, division of cardiovascular medicine, UK College of Medicine, and co-director of the UK Gill Heart Institute. “He continues to publish consistently innovative and important research.”

A graduate of University of Michigan School of Medicine, Nissen completed his cardiology fellowship at the UK Chandler Medical Center. He completed his internal medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Davis.

Nissen is the author of over 200 journal articles, book chapters and electronic publications. He was a pioneer in the development of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and has focused his recent research on this technique. Notably, he has examined the discrepancies between angiography and IVUS in the assessment of coronary atherosclerosis, pointing out the limitation of radiographic methods. Currently Nissen serves as the principle investigator for several IVUS studies of atherosclerosis regression and progression.

He is the current vice president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), as well as the chair of the Educational Products Committee and a member of the Budget and Finance Committee. He is a past member of the ACC Board of Trustees. Nissen also is a member of the CardioRenal Advisory Panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Carr, assistant professor, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, University of Washington, is being honored for her outstanding contributions in the field of cardiovascular imaging.

The Gill Heart Institute Young Physician Scientist Award recognizes individuals

who hold an M.D. degree and have less than ten years of experience since receiving

their doctoral degree. Nominees are evaluated based upon their track record and the originality and quality of their publications. Carr was chosen to receive the award from among a group of top cardiology researchers.

”Dr. Carr is a bright young researcher and highly deserving of this honor,” said Moliterno. “Physician scientists like her embody the bright future of cardiovascular research and practice.”

Carr is a university representative and reviewer for the American Federation for Medical Research, as well as a member of the American Heart Association (AHA) National Research Committee. She also belongs to the Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Council of the AHA and The Endocrine Society. She has published 34 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and abstracts. Carr is a graduate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and completed her residency and fellowship at the University of Washington.

The UK Linda and Jack Gill Heart Institute provides a central focus for cardiovascular disease care, including clinics; non-invasive cardiac diagnostics; invasive cardiac techniques such as cardiac catheterization, angioplasty and electrophysiology; a base for the physicians providing this care and a special focus on counseling cardiac patients and their families. The clinical programs of the institute target the high rate of heart disease prevalent in Kentucky, while the research and teaching programs work to advance cardiovascular care throughout the world.

The institute has its origins in the 1997 donation of $5 million from Linda and Jack Gill of Houston, Texas, to UK to build the Gill Heart Institute facility and establish three endowed chairs and 10 endowed professorships. The Gills’ donation was augmented by matching funds from the Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund.


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