Two Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute physician-researchers have been named recipients of prestigious awards from the American College of Cardiology.
Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and a pioneer in developing cardiac stem cell treatments, will be awarded the 2014 Distinguished Scientist Award (Basic Domain) by the 40,000-member medical society during its 63rd Annual Scientific Session on March 31.
Sumeet Chugh, MD, associate director of the Heart Institute and a leading expert on heart rhythm disorders such as sudden cardiac arrest and atrial fibrillation, is to receive the Simon Dack Award for Outstanding Scholarship in recognition of Chugh's contributions to the organization's peer-reviewed medical journals.
"Dr. Marbán has earned the prestigious title of Distinguished Scientist by pioneering the development of stem cell treatments that can regenerate healthy heart muscle," said Shlomo Melmed, MD, senior vice president of Academic Affairs, dean of the Cedars-Sinai medical faculty and the Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Chair in Investigative Medicine. "Dr. Chugh is leading the quest to unlock the mysteries of how to prevent sudden cardiac arrest, which is 99 percent fatal. Their work is advancing life-saving treatments for patients all over the world and is a testament to the outstanding work of the Heart Institute."
Using techniques that he invented to isolate and grow stem cells from a patient's own heart tissue, Marbán designed and completed the first-in-human cardiac stem cell trial, called CADUCEUS, funded by the National Institutes of Health. The study was the first to show that stem cell therapy can repair damage to the heart muscle caused by a heart attack. Currently, a new, multicenter stem cell clinical trial called ALLSTAR is measuring the effectiveness of donor heart stem cells in treating heart attack patients.
A native of Cuba, Marbán came to the United States with his parents at age 6 as a political refugee. He earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Wilkes College in Pennsylvania, and then attended the Yale University School of Medicine in a combined MD/PhD program. Among the many honors Marbán has received are the Basic Research Prize of the American Heart Association the Research Achievement Award of the International Society for Heart Research, the Gill Heart Institute Award and the Distinguished Scientist Award of the American Heart Association.
Chugh, the Pauline and Harold Price Chair in Cardiac Electrophysiology, is an expert in the performance of radio frequency ablation procedures as well as the use of pacemakers, defibrillators and biventricular devices to correct heart rhythm problems. The author of more than 250 articles and abstracts in professional journals, Chugh initiated and directs the ongoing Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study, a large, comprehensive assessment of sudden cardiac arrest in a community of 1 million residents. Chugh leads the World Health Organization panel that is charged with performing a worldwide assessment of heart rhythm disorders for the Global Burden of Disease Study.
After earning his medical degree from Government Medical College Patiala, India, Chugh spent the first year of his internal medicine residency at Tufts Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston and the next two years at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. He completed a fellowship in cardiology at the University of Minnesota and a fellowship in clinical cardiac electrophysiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.