2018 Summit Speakers

Joshua Beckman, M.D., M.Sc.
Director, Vascular Medicine; Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt Universtiy Medical Center

Dr. Joshua Beckman is a Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School, Director of the Section of Vascular Medicine, and Director of the Cardiovascular Consultation Service at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. After earning his MD from New York University School of Medicine, he completed medical residency in internal medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and postgraduate fellowships in cardiovascular medicine and vascular medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease.

Dr. Beckman is the Director of the Section of Vascular Medicine within the Cardiovascular Division. He cares for patients with a wide range of both heart and vascular disorders. Dr. Beckman has a special interest in peripheral artery disease, venous thromboembolism, aortic disease perioperative management, thermal (temperature-related) diseases, and vasculitis. Dr. Beckman is the recent past Chair of the Peripheral Vascular Disease Council of the American Heart Association and past President for the Society for Vascular Medicine.

Dr. Beckman is an award-winning educator, having won the W. Procter Harvey Young Teacher Award from the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Beckman's research focuses on the mechanisms that cause vascular dysfunction, susceptibility to atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, and translating lab discoveries to human beings. He is currently supported in this work by the National Heart Lung Blood Institute and the Center Director for a Strategically Focused Research Network in Vascular Disease from the American Heart Association.

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Akshay Desai, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Director, Brigham Cardiovascular Consultants; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Thomas Forbes, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., F.A.C.S.
Dr. Forbes is Professor of Surgery and Chair of the Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Toronto, a position he has held since 2014.

He obtained his medical degree in 1990 from the University of Toronto and completed his general surgery and vascular surgery training at the University of Western Ontario. He is the coProgram Director of the Advanced Aortic Surgery Fellowship at the University of Toronto, a collaborative fellowship between vascular and cardiac surgery in open and endovascular therapies for thoracoabdominal aortic pathologies. Previously he was Chair/Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Western Ontario (2005-2014) and the inaugural Graduate Program Chair of the Masters of Science in Surgery program.

He has published over 200 peer reviewed papers, editorials and book chapters and given over 100 invited lectures or guest professorships. He is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Vascular Surgery and the Canadian Journal of Surgery and a member of several editorial boards, as well as being the Chair of the Document Oversight Committee of the Society for Vascular Surgery. He is Section Editor of Rutherford’s Textbook of Vascular Surgery and the Chair of the Vascular Care Working Group of CorHealth Ontario. He is also Past-President of the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery, a former Program Director and past vice-Chair of the Vascular Surgery Specialty Committee of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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Paul Forfia, M.D.
Professor of Medicine; Director-Pulmonary Hypertension, Right Heart Failure, and P.T.E. Program, Temple University Hospital

Jeff Healey, M.D., F.R.C.P(C), F.H.R.S.
Jeff Healey is the director of arrhythmia services at Hamilton Health Sciences, Professor of medicine at McMaster University and the Population Health Research Institute Chair in Cardiology Research.

He is also the principal investigator and chair of the Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network (CSPIN), which is conducting a series of clinical trials related to atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention and will also support the development of new Canadian researchers in this field.

He is the past co-chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s Atrial Fibrillation Guidelines Committee and past chair of the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario’s Heart Rhythm Working group.

Dr. Healey was the lead author of the ASSERT trial, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012 and demonstrated the increased stroke risk associated with sub-clinical atrial fibrillation detected by pacemakers. Thomson-Reuters recognized ASSERT as the 38th most-cited scientific publication in 2012.

He was also the lead author of the SIMPLE trial, published in the Lancet in 2015, which demonstrated that implantable defibrillators could be safely inserted without performing intra-operative defibrillation testing, and the RELY AF cohort study, a 15,000-patient worldwide registry, published in the Lancet in 2016, examining the causes, treatment and outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation.

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Michael Mack, M.D., F.A.C.C.
Medical Director, Cardiovascular Surgery, Baylor Health Care System; Chairman of The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano Research Center

Samia Mora, M.D., M.H.S.
Samia Mora is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. She is a cardiovascular medicine specialist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she is the Director of the Center for Lipid Metabolomics, Division of Preventive Medicine.

She also has joint appointments in the Divisions of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Women’s Health. Dr. Mora received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School.

She completed an internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a cardiovascular disease fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she also obtained a Masters in Health Science (Epidemiology) from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is board certified in cardiovascular disease and echocardiography, and is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and American Society of Echocardiography. She also serves on the Editorial Board of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Dr. Mora’s clinical interests include cardiovascular prevention, lipids, modifiable risk factors, and women’s health. The author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Mora’s research focuses on risk factors and prevention of cardiovascular disease. She is actively involved with several randomized clinical trials and observational studies, having served on the Endpoints Committee of the Women’s Health Study, the Clinical Coordinating Committee of the JUPITER trial, and currently serves as the Medical/Safety Officer and Director of Core Biomarker Studies in the VITAminD and OmegA-3 Trial (VITAL), and the Harvard Investigator on the Gulf Population Risks and Epidemiology of Vascular Events and Treatment (Gulf PREVENT) study.

Dr. Mora recently developed the free Aspirin-Guide mobile app (available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and on the web on www.aspiringuide.com) in collaboration with JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, and Jeffrey E. Ames, MS.

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Pamela Morris, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., F.A.S.P.C., F.N.L.A.
Director, Seinsheimer Cardiovascular Health Program; Co-Director, Women's Heart Care, Medical University of South Carolina

Pamela B. Morris, MD, FACC, FAHA, FASPC, FNLA is Associate Professor of Medicine in Cardiology at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where she also serves as Director of Preventive Cardiology and Co-director of Women’s Heart Care. Dr Morris received her medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and completed her internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at Duke Medical Center.

Dr Morris’ principal interests include clinical lipidology, preventive cardiology, and gender differences in the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease. She is a frequent lecturer and author on these topics. Currently, Dr. Morris is President of the Southeast Lipid Association. She serves as Vice-Chair of the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Sessions, past Chair of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Leadership Council and Section, and Chair of the ACC Committee on Heart House Roundtable Series. She served as Vice Chair of the ACC Expert Consensus Decision Pathway writing committee on the role of non-statin therapies in management of ASCVD risk reduction. Dr Morris serves on the board of directors of the National Lipid Association, the American Board of Clinical Lipidology, and the American Society of Preventive Cardiology.

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Paul Sorajja, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., F.S.C.A.I.
Director, Center for Valve and Structural Heart Disease, Minneapolis Heart Institute, Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Dr. Paul Sorajja is an interventional cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, where he is the Director of the Center for Valve and Structural Heart Disease, and is the Roger L. and Lynn C. Headrick Family Chair of the Valve Science Center for the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. He received his medical degree from Mayo Medical School, and completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Cardiology Fellowship at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. During 1998-99, he was a clinical research fellow in myopathy at St. George's Hospital in London, UK. Dr. Sorajja joined the Mayo Clinic staff in 2006, achieving the rank of Professor of Medicine in 2012. In 2013, Dr. Sorajja joined the Minneapolis Heart Institute.

Dr. Sorajja's clinical practice specializes in interventional cardiology, with a focus on catheter-based therapy of valvular and structural heart disease. He was part of the team that performed the first transcatheter mitral valve replacement in the U.S. for a patient with native mitral regurgitation in 2015, and has the highest worldwide experience with TMVR. Dr. Sorajja has published over 200 manuscripts and book chapters, with expertise in cardiac hemodynamics, clinical education, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and percutaneous therapy of structural heart disease. He has served in leadership positions in multiple national societies, and is a founding Board member of the Cardiovascular Innovations Foundation (cvinnovations.org).

Dr. Sorajja has been an editor-in-chief for numerous textbooks on cardiac catheterization. He has served as a program director for interventional cardiology fellowships, and has received awards for his expertise in medical education. In 2017, he received the Robert G. Hauser Award for Leadership Excellence in Innovation from the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. Dr. Sorajja is also highly active in intellectual property development.

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Edward Yeh, M.D.
Chair of the Department of Medicine; Frances T. McAndrew Chair; Professor of Medicine; Director, Center for Precision Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Missouri Health

Dr. Edward T.H. Yeh is Chairman of the Department of Medicine at The University of Missouri. He holds the Francis T. McAndrew Chair and serves as Director of the Center for Precision Medicine. He graduated from UC Berkeley and received his medical degree from UC Davis. He was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and University of Texas Houston Health Science Center. He founded the Department of Cardiology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2000, launching a new field called cardio-oncology.

His laboratory discovered SUMOylation and Neddylation, two fundamental post-translational protein modification pathways. Dr. Yeh’s laboratory also identified topoisomerase 2b as the molecular basis of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity that changed a 40 years-old paradigm. He has received grants from the National Institute of Health, Department of Defense, and Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. He was the Massachusetts General Hospital/Upjohn Scholar, Arthritis Investigator of the Arthritis Foundation, and the Established Investigator of the American Heart Association.

Dr. Yeh has mentored a large number of physician/scientists and basic scientists, who have become independent investigators. He has written over 150 scientific papers, many of which are landmark contributions to science and medicine. Among his many honors, Dr. Yeh was elected to Academia Sinica, the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was also honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of the UC Davis Medical School.

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William Stevenson, M.D.
Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute

William G. Stevenson, MD is Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical School. Dr Stevenson received his MD from Tulane University in Louisiana, completed Medicine and Cardiology training at UCLA Center for the Health Sciences. In 1993 he joined the faculty Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he was Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Program. In September of 2017 he moved to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

He specializes in the diagnosis and management of cardiac arrhythmias and prevention of sudden death. His research and clinical practice focuses on the treatment of complex heart rhythm disorders with catheter ablation. His methods of cardiac mapping incorporating entrainment mapping to guide catheter ablation are widely used. He has published over 300 articles and chapters. He has provided post-doctoral training to over 50 fellows in cardiac electrophysiology. He is a recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Teacher Award from the Heart Rhythm Society, 2012 Michel Mirowski Award for Excellence in Clinical Cardiology and Electrophysiology. He is past president of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society, and the founding editor of Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology of the American Heart Association.

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James Thomas, M.D., F.A.S.E., F.A.C.C.C., F.E.S.C.
Professor of Medicine; Director of Center for Heart Valve Disease; Director of Academic Affairs, Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, Northwestern Medicine