Update on the Management of Valvular Heart Disease
More information about each doctor can be obtained by clicking on their link below:
Ralph Damiano Jr., MD – John M. Shoenberg Professor of Surgery, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Douglas Mann, MD – Lewin Professor of Medicine, Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine Cardiologist-in-Chief, Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Catherine Otto, MD – Professor of Medicine J. Ward Kennedy-Hamilton Endowed Chair in Cardiology, University of Washington School of Medicine
Brian Lindman, MD – Instructor in Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, Washington University School of Medicine Cardiologist, Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Gerald Lawrie, MD – Michael E. DeBakey Endowed Chair, Professor of Cardiac Surgery, The Methodist Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine
Peter Block, MD – Professor of Medicine, Director: Structural Heart Disease Interventional Program: Emory University Dept. of Cardiology
Alan Zajarias, MD – Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, Washington University School of Medicine Cardiologist, Barnes-Jewish Hospital

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Ralph J. Damiano, Jr., MD, earned a B.S. in biology and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College. He was awarded an M.D. degree from Duke University and went on to complete both his general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery training at Duke University Medical Center. From 1996 until 2000, Dr. Damiano was professor and chief of the division of cardiothoracic surgery at Hershey Medical Center, Penn State University. He joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine as the John M. Shoenberg Professor of Surgery and chief of cardiac surgery in April, 2000. In 2005, he was appointed vice-chairman of the Department of Surgery.

His clinical interests include all aspects of adult cardiothoracic surgery, with particular emphasis on coronary artery revascularization, atrial fibrillation surgery, valve repair and minimally invasive surgery. He was one of the pioneers of robotically assisted cardiac surgery and performed the first robotically assisted surgery in North America in 1998. His group has also been the world leader in the research and development of surgery for atrial fibrillation. Dr. Damiano has over 250 publications and has given over 310 invited lectureships around the world. He was associate editor of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery from December 1998 through January 2008 and is presently editor of the journal Innovations: Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery. He has been president of the Cardiac Surgery Biology Club, is currently president of the Society of Clinical Surgery, and president of the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Clinical Teacher of the Year Award at Washington University School of Medicine.

He was named the 2008 Physician Health Care Hero of the Year by the St. Louis Business Journal.
Douglas L. Mann, MD, FACC, FACP, is the Lewin Professor and chief of the cardiovascular division of Washington University School of Medicine and cardiologist-in-chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Mo. A Temple University School of Medicine graduate, Dr. Mann completed medical residency at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. He was a cardiology fellow at the University of California at San Diego, a clinical and research fellow in cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a research fellow in cardiology at Temple University Hospital. Dr. Mann was a faculty member of the Medical University of South Carolina and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, before his appointment at Washington University in 2009. His primary clinical interest is congestive heart failure. His research interests lie in the molecular and cellular basis of heart failure, with a particular emphasis on the role of inflammatory mediators in disease progression in the failing heart. He has published over 225 articles and reviews in this field, is the editor of Heart Failure, A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease, (2nd edition), and is a co-editor for the 9th edition of Braunwald’s Heart Disease. Dr. Mann has previously served as the deputy editor for Chest and was an associate editor for Circulation. He currently serves on the editorial boards of eight peer-reviewed cardiology journals. He has received numerous awards including the Michael E. Debakey award for excellence in research, and the Alfred Soffer Award for Editorial Excellence from the American College of Chest Physicians. Dr. Mann is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Society of Clinical Investigation as well as the American College of Chest Physicians. He is the immediate past president of the Heart Failure Society of America.
Catherine M. Otto, MD, is recognized as an expert on calcific aortic valve disease. She is professor of medicine and director of the cardiovascular disease fellowship training program at University of Washington Medical Center. Dr. Otto’s research has transformed our understanding of this disease process, showing that it is an active disease process that may be amenable to medical therapy rather than being an inevitable consequence of aging. Her research on the aortic valve includes validation of noninvasive measures of disease severity, the first prospective study of disease progression, immunohistologic studies establishing the cellular and molecular mechanisms of valve disease, epidemiologic studies defining the clinical risk factors associated with calcific valve disease and a landmark study demonstrating that even mild valve thickening, called aortic sclerosis, is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

In addition, Dr. Otto is the author of several cardiology books: The Textbook of Clinical Echocardiography, (4th Edition), The Practice of Clinical Echocardiography, (3rd Edition), Valvular Heart Disease, (3rd Edition, co-edited by Robert O. Bonow, MD), Atlas of Intraoperative Echocardiography, (with Don Oxorn) and the Echocardiography Review Guide (with Becky Schwaegler).
Brian R. Lindman, MD, is a clinical instructor of medicine in the cardiovascular division. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, in Nashville, who completed internal medicine residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Before his faculty appointment, Dr. Lindman completed a fellowship in cardiology with an emphasis on valvular heart disease at Washington University School of Medicine. Clinically he is interested in the treatment of valvular disease, specifically calcific aortic stenosis. His research interests include the identification of novel targets for therapy and testing the efficacy of various pharmacologic interventions.
Gerald M. Lawrie, MD, grew up in Sydney, Australia, attended The Scots College and graduated from the University of Sydney Medical School in 1969. He was a Commonwealth Scholarship holder throughout medical school and as an undergraduate was awarded the James McRae Yeates Prize for Clinical Surgery. He continued his surgical education in the teaching hospitals of the University of New South Wales, Australia between 1969 and 1972 when he left for a year of post-graduate education in England. This included five months at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences of the Royal College of Surgeons in London. He returned to Australia in 1973 and completed his residency training in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery in Sydney at his previous teaching hospitals. During this period, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey was a visiting professor in Sydney and invited Dr. Lawrie to spend a year with him in Houston, Texas.

Between 1974 and 1975, Dr. Lawrie completed a cardiovascular fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine, with Dr. DeBakey and was invited to join his personal staff as an associate surgeon in the Department of Surgery. Over the next 20 years, he accumulated a very extensive experience in the surgical management of end-stage and complex cardiovascular disease. During this time he also helped set up cardiovascular surgery programs in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. He was actively involved in student and resident teaching and carried out extensive research in cardiovascular surgery.

In 1997, he became a clinical professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and, with many of his colleagues in Houston, formed Texas Surgical Associates, Houston’s largest single specialty group of cardiovascular surgeons. Since then, he has continued to pursue a very active clinical practice while at the same time remaining productive in teaching and research.

In 2008, he was appointed the Methodist Hospital Michael E. DeBakey Professor of Cardiac surgery, an endowed professorship.

Peter C. Block, MD, is a professor at Emory University School of Medicine, the director of interventional research at the Andreas Gruentzig Research Center, and director of the Structural Heart Disease Program at Emory University Hospital. Dr. Block graduated from Amherst College, cum laude, and received his medical degree, cum laude, from Harvard Medical School. After a residency at Massachusetts General Hospital he joined the faculty at both Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 1970 and became director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory in 1974. In 1991, he became associate director of the Heart Institute at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore. From 1993 to 2000 Dr. Block was a professor of biomedical science and engineering at Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology and from 1996 to 2000 was a professor of medicine at Oregon Health Science University.

Dr. Block is a recognized expert in catheterization and cardiovascular interventions. He is on the editorial boards of numerous journals relating to cardiology and is editor of Cardiosource Video News and Hot Topics for the ACC website, Cardiosource. His research interests are primarily in the percutaneous treatment of structural heart disease – specifically treatment by left atrial appendage occlusion for patients with atrial fibrillation, treatment of cryptogenic stroke and migraine with closure of patent foramen ovale, percutaneous repair of valvular insufficiency and percutaneous cardiac valve replacement. He has published over 250 scientific articles, reviews and chapters.
Alan Zajarias, MD, is an assistant professor of medicine in the cardiovascular division of Washington University School of Medicine and is an attending physician on the cardiology service at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He began his medical career at the National University of Mexico and completed an internal medicine residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which was followed by a fellowship in clinical cardiology and a fellowship in interventional cardiology at Washington University School of Medicine. He also completed a fellowship in valvular heart disease at the CHU Hospital Charles Nicole in Rouen, France. Dr. Zajarias is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology, with a subspecialty certification in echocardiography.

He is especially interested in interventional procedures and clinical management for valvular heart disease. His research is focused on the application of percutaneous techniques for replacement of the aortic valve and repair of the mitral valve and the identification of clinical and hemodynamic variables of best candidates for percutaneous aortic valve replacement.