Martin Leon Recognized with Top Honor from American College of Cardiology
Martin B. Leon, MD, a pioneer in the development of minimally invasive therapies for individuals with heart disease, will be honored with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) at its 68th annual scientific sessions in New Orleans.
“I am honored and incredibly humbled to be recognized by my peers and the ACC with this Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Leon, the Mallah Family Professor of Cardiology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian. “This is less a personal recognition and more a celebration of my team at Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian and their contribution to cardiovascular medicine. I am proud of our transformative impact on patient care.”
Alternative to open-heart surgery
Leon is widely recognized as a pioneer in the development of minimally invasive approaches to treat heart and valve diseases. He has served as principal investigator for more than 75 clinical trials that have helped shape the field of interventional cardiology.
Most recently, he has led a series of studies known as the PARTNER trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement therapy) for patients with aortic stenosis, a buildup of calcium in the aortic valve that can lead to heart failure. Patients previously had to undergo open-heart surgery to have the valve replaced. With TAVR, doctors take a different approach, snaking a catheter through an artery in the groin and into the heart. Using the catheter, doctors can fit a new aortic valve inside the diseased valve—all without cracking open the chest. This has made valve replacement possible for tens of thousands of patients who were considered too ill or frail for open-heart surgery.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has had a lifetime of outstanding achievements in the field of cardiovascular disease and has served as a role model through service, basic or clinical research, and education.
Leon is a globally recognized thought leader and innovator in the development of interventional cardiovascular device and drug therapies, having authored more than 2,000 papers and performed more than 10,000 procedures.
Martin B. Leon, MD, is a professor in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was previously the director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian. He is on the executive board of the Heart Valve Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian. He is the founder and chairman emeritus of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation and director of the organization’s annual interventional cardiovascular meeting, Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics.