2007 Prize Winner

Patrick Washington Serruys

Patrick W. Serruys

Dr. Serruys received the M.D. degree (1972) from the Catholic University of Louvain, Louvain, Belgium and his PhD degree (1986) from the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Patrick W. Serruys is Professor of Interventional Cardiology at the Interuniversity Cardiological Institute of the Netherlands (1988-1998), and the Erasmus University.

Since 1980 he has been Director of the Clinical Research Program of the Catheterization Laboratory, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands and since 1997 the Head of the Interventional Department, Heartcenter Rotterdam. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology and scientific council of the International College of Angiology. He is the author or coauthor of over 1400 papers and editor or coeditor of 32 books, and a member of 14 Editorial Boards of Scientific Journals. He has been associate editor of Circulation for Europe for five years and he recently co-edited the Textbook of Cardiology of the European Society of Cardiology.

In 1996 he received the TCT Career Achievement Award and in 1997 he was awarded the Wenkebach Prize of the Dutch Heart Foundation. In 2000 he was awarded the Gruentzig Award of the European Society of Cardiology. In 2001 he held the Paul Dudley White Lecture at the American Heart Association in the USA. In 2004 he held the 4th International Lecture at the AHA and Mikamo Lecture at the Japanese heart Association. In 2006 he received the highest award of the Clinical Council of the American Heart Association: the James Herrick Award.


Summary of Achievements

Patrick Washington Serruys was born on April 27, 1947 (current age 63 years) in Belgium. He graduated from the University of Leuven (MD 1972) and was trained in Cardiology at the same hospital. In 1976 doctor Serruys moved to the Thoraxcenter Erasmus University Rotterdam, which was led at that time by Paul Hugenholtz. He was appointed senior cardiology staff member in 1977 and became director of the clinical research programme in diagnostic and interventional cardiology in 1980. In 1986 he obtained his PhD-degree (cum laude) after defending his thesis on « transluminal coronary angioplasty : an investigational tool of acute myocardial ischemia ». In 1988 doctor Serruys was appointed as Professor of Interventional Cardiology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam and the Inter Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands (ICIN), an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science (KNAW). Today, professor Serruys is the director of Interventional Cardiology at the Thoraxcenter, Erasmus University Medical Center.

Professor Serruys is fellow, member and/or honorary member of a number of medical organisations and societies, including the European Society of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology. He has been associate editor of Circulation (2001- 2004) and is a member of the editorial boards of 14 scientific journals. In 2002 he was invited to edit a textbook of cardiology, which will be published by the European Society of Cardiology in the second half of 2005. He has received six significant international awards: the Career Achievement Award (TCT Washington 1996), the Wenckebach Price from the Dutch Heart Foundation (1997), the Andreas Gruentzig Award (European Society of Cardiology, 2000), the Kurt Polzer Price (Austria, 2001), and the Paul Dudley White Award from the American Heart Association (2001).

The research interests of professor Serruys are coronary artery disease and interventional cardiology, ranging from basic science to clinical trials. He has used clinical investigation and interventions as a method for research of coronary pathology and pathophysiology, employing different imaging and measurement techniques including quantitative coronary angiography, intravascular ultrasound, Doppler flow measurements, and more recently palpography as well as optical coherence tomography. Recently a combination of intracoronary imaging and proteomic research has led to increased insight in the pathophysiology of the vulnerable plaque.

Three major developments in interventional cardiology can largely be attributed to Patrick Serruys. First, in the early years of interventional cardiology (1984) he has described the process of restenosis, using a systematic quantitative approach. He systematically studied by quantitative angiography patients at different intervals after balloon angioplasty, and concluded that the restenosis process appeared between 2 and 4 months after the intervention. Therefore, quantitative angiography after 6 months became the world standard for studies of the restenosis process, and of interventions to reduce restenosis. In different animal models, different drugs seemed to be effective to reduce the restenosis process. However, clinical trials, part of which were led by professor Serruys failed to show a systematic reduction of restenosis by antithrombotic therapy, inflammatory therapy, ACE inhibitors and other medication.

Second, professor Serruys was the initiator of the first study comparing stents with balloon angioplasty (Benestent I) and subsequent studies with improved stent design (Benestent II). These studies demonstrated a significant reduction in restenosis using stents. Together with a parallel study in the USA this resulted in the general application of stents in clinical practice, and approval by the regulator authorities (FDA).

Third, in 2000, a new concept has been introduced: drug-eluting stents. These stents are covered with drugs inhibiting the cell cycle, which are slowly released and prevent proliferation of the intima, which is responsible for restenosis. Professor Serruys was the driving force of the concept of the drug eluting stent, assisted in the preclinicial evaluation, the first in man studies, and initiated clinical trials to test the concept. These trials demonstrated that drug eluting stents almost abolish in stent restenosis.

Over the years, the research led by professor Serruys, has been conducted in collaboration with other academic centers in the Netherlands (Inter University Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands), in Europe and in North and South America. He has established close collaboration with different pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Professor Serruys has coached 38 PhD-students who defended their thesis between 1991 and 2005, 24 of these came from abroad, exemplifying his strong international network of research collaboration.

Since 2002, research conducted at the Thoraxcenter has been brought under the newly established cardiovascular research school at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (CŒUR). In CŒUR research is organised in six teams. Professor Serruys is the leader of theme 4: surgical, interventional and device therapy in cardiovascular diseases. Within this context professor Serruys continues to stimulate and lead preclinical and clinical studies of atherosclerosis, the vulnerable plaque, neoangiogenesis and implantation of stam cells or skeletal muscle cells to improve cardiac function after myocardial function. The multidisciplinary interest of professor Serruys has stimulated several technical innovations and the introduction into clinical practice of different technologies developed by engineers at the Thoraxcenter and other institutions, including quantitative coronary angiography, intravascular ultrasound and elastography. The same multidisciplinary approach is evident from the series of meetings organised in 2003, 2004 and 2005 to coordinate worldwide research on the "vulnerable plaque".

Professor Serruys has been editor or (co) editor of 32 books and he has published over 1.400 papers (up to end 2005) most in international peer reviewed journals. He has been invited to edit the new prestigious Textbook by the European Society of Cardiology. The scope and quality of these papers is outstanding with 10 original articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, 1 in JAMA, 4 in Lancet, 131 in Circulation, 95 in the European Heart Journal and 73 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

His colleagues have enjoyed working with Professor Serruys at the Thoraxcenter for more than 30 years and to share his enthusiasm and energy. He is indeed a creative, imaginative and visionary scientist, a champion for basic and applied research and an active mentor for fellows in training to become an interventional cardiologist as well as PhD-students. While professor Serruys strives for the best research, and high quality patient care, he also has an enthusiastic and warm personality. Professor Serruys is fluent in French, his native language and he is member honoraire de la Societe Francaise de Cardiologie.