Michael Blaha, MD, MPH
During the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography 17th Annual Scientific Meeting (SCCT2022), three awards were presented to cardiovascular imaging leaders. Here is summary background on the worthy recipients and each award presented July 15, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Arthur S. Agatston Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Award
Dr. Arthur S. Agatston, the award’s namesake, is a visionary and pioneer in the field of noninvasive cardiac imaging and one of the world’s leading preventive cardiologists. This award promotes the prevention of death from heart disease by recognizing individuals whose pioneering efforts have saved lives from the leading killer throughout the world, coronary artery disease.
This year, the award was presented to Michael Blaha, MD, MPH, Director of Clinical Research, Ciccarone Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine.
SCCT has selected Dr. Blaha for this important award in recognition of his extensive contributions to cardiovascular disease prevention. He is being honored in recognition of his extensive contributions to the development of new strategies to optimize the management of cardiovascular disease risk factors, in particular, his contributions to the MESA study and the MESA tool for calculating risk probabilities based on coronary artery calcium scores. He is also known as a mentor who has paved the way for many of his colleagues to excel.
Achenbach Pioneer Award in Cardiovascular CT
Named in honor of SCCT founding member and first president, Dr. Stephan Achenbach, this award honors those who have made landmark contributions by demonstrating a commitment to clinical excellence, research, and education to the field of cardiovascular CT.
The SCCT2022 award winner is David Newby, MD, PhD, who serves as BHF Duke of Edinburgh Chair of Cardiology.
David Newby, MD, PhD
SCCT is honoring Dr. Newby's influence as a visionary researcher. In first announcing the award, which was presented at SCCT2022 on July 15, SCCT noted that Newby’s leadership of the groundbreaking SCOT-HEART trial and subsequent follow-up studies has been a landmark in the field, leading to better understanding and prevention of coronary artery disease in general and the role of cardiovascular CT in particular.
The Scottish COmputed Tomography of the HEART (SCOT-HEART) assessed the added value of computed tomography imaging to measure coronary artery calcium scores and undertake coronary angiography, in over 4000 patients attending rapid access chest pain clinics across Scotland.
In the most recent analysis of the data, researchers found that in patients who presented with stable coronary disease symptoms, the burden of low-attenuation plaque as measured by quantitative analysis was a stronger predictor of future cardiovascular event compared to standard cardiovascular risk scores, coronary artery calcium score and even severity of luminal stenosis. This observation challenged the current clinical paradigm of assessing coronary artery disease & risk of future cardiovascular event.
The success of the SCOT-HEART study enabled launch of SCOT-HEART 2, to study CT coronary angiography use in patients who have no symptoms of coronary disease. This study hopes to identify whether initiating preventative therapies based on the presence of coronary disease on CT is superior to the current practice of using risk scores.
“I am very honored that our work on the SCOT-HEART trial has been acknowledged and recognized by this prestigious award from the Society of Cardiovascular CT,” said Newby in a feature from University of Edinburgh Imaging congratulating him on the award. He added, “It has been an amazing journey and I would like to acknowledge the tremendous support of a large team who made this happen including the funder (Chief Scientist Office), NHS Lothian R&D, Edinburgh Imaging and Edinburgh Clinical Trials Units as well as key co-investigators including Edwin van Beek, Marc Dweck, Nick Mills and the Trial Steering Committee. However, a particular mention is needed for Michelle Williams who was instrumental to the success of the trial and has been outstanding throughout.”
Gold Medal Award
The Gold Medal Award recognizes outstanding leaders who have made landmark contributions to the field of cardiovascular CT and to the Society.
During SCCT2022, the award was presented to Ricardo Cury, MD, MBA, MSCCT, Chairman, Radiology Associates of South Florida. Cury also serves as Director of Cardiac Imaging, Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute - Baptist Health of South Florida, is Professor and Chairman of Radiology at Florida International University, as well as Associate Chief Medical Officer, Data Strategy with Radiology Partners.
Ricardo Cury, MD, MBA, MSCCT
“Dr. Cury is a true leader in our field. He is an experienced clinician and imager who is dedicated to patient care, as well as a prominent mentor and educator for the Society,” said SCCT President Eric Williamson, MD, MSCCT. He added, “He exemplifies the highest commitment to the advancement of cardiovascular computed tomography through clinical excellence, leadership, teaching, and dedicated research.”
Cury is recognized for his contributions as SCCT President in 2014-2015, as well as: outstanding leadership of the CAD-RADS writing groups; his longtime guidance of the SCCT International Committee, as well as the International Regional Committee program; and his dedication as a program planner and faculty for several Annual Scientific Meetings, as well as numerous CTA Academies he has led, according to SCCT. He has also served as an esteemed mentor who paved the way for many of his colleagues to excel. The Society noted Cury has been a champion for consistently supporting the mission of SCCT throughout different roles in the wider cardiac imaging field.
For more information: https://scct.org/