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LIMR researcher to receive Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology

Lankenau Medical Center January 28, 2020 Research News

Charles Antzelevitch, PhD, professor and executive director of cardiovascular research at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR), which is part of Main Line Health, will receive the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology (ACC), a non-profit medical association, for his groundbreaking research into abnormal heart rhythms.

“We are so proud that Dr. Antzelevitch has been named for this very prestigious award from his colleagues in the cardiovascular field,” said George Prendergast, PhD, president and CEO of LIMR. “For many years, Dr. Antzelevitch has played a pivotal role in global advancements of important investigations that have the potential to significantly improve cardiac care today and in the future.”

Dr. Antzelevitch, who also serves as director of research for Lankenau Heart Institute, studies abnormal heartbeats (also known as arrhythmia syndromes) via electrophysiology. He has devoted much of his career to the study of the mechanisms underlying abnormal rhythms of the heart, including atrial fibrillation and inherited cardiac arrhythmias (e.g., Long QT, Short QT and J Wave Syndromes), the latter of which can contribute to sudden cardiac death of young adults and in some cases have been shown to be responsible for sudden infant death.

Dr. Antzelevitch and fellow LIMR researcher Gan-Xin Yan, MD, PhD, convened a consensus conference in 2015 to update the scientific and clinical communities on the mechanisms, diagnosis, prognosis, risk stratification, and treatment of J Wave Syndromes. And in 2016, the report of the J-Wave Expert Consensus Conference was published simultaneously in three biomedical journals,a highly unusual occurrence that speaks to the importance of their work.

Dr. Antzelevitch and his research colleagues also have contributed significantly to studies aimed at the development of new medications to treat atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia. Additionally, he and his lab team are engaged in organ bioengineering studies, including cloning hearts that one day could be used in heart transplants and thus would resolve the world’s organ-shortage challenge.

“I am honored and humbled by this recognition from the ACC and am grateful to the awards committee and board of trustees,” said Dr. Antzelevitch, who is a fellow of the ACC and was the recipient of the Society’s Distinguished Scientist Award in 2011. “I share this honor with the members of my lab team past and present who have contributed immensely to the advancement of science and to the many breakthroughs in cardiovascular research that have benefited patients at Main Line Health and throughout the world.”

During his 42-year career, Dr. Antzelevitch’s contributions to the scientific literature include more than 550 original papers and reviews,over 380 abstracts and seven books. His research has been funded by public agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the State of New York Department of Health, and the State of New York Stem Cell Center; organizations such as the American Heart Association and Heart Rhythm Society; private foundations such as the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust, and Martha and Wistar Morris Fund; as well as many pharmaceutical, biotechnology and device companies.

Before joining LIMR in 2015, he served as executive director and director of research at the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory in Utica, N.Y., for many years a major site of fundamental advances in arrhythmia research.

Previous winners of the ACC’s Lifetime Achievement Award have included James Forrester, MD, chief of the Division of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Patrick Serruys, MD, head of interventional cardiology at Rotterdam’s Erasmus Medical Center, who played a major role in the development of cardiovascular stents; and Aldo Castañeda, MD, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital and considered the father of neonatal corrective surgery.

Dr. Antzelevitch’s award will be presented during ACC’s 69th Annual Scientific Session in Chicago in March.

In addition to this honor from ACC, Dr. Antzelevitch recently was ranked by Expertscape in the top 0.1 percent of scholars writing about electrocardiography and 13th out of about 72,000 scientists and physicians worldwide in the field of electrocardiography and cardiac electrophysiology. And he was ranked second in the state of Pennsylvania.

Learn more about Dr. Antzelevitch’s research.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985,Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.

At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

Main Line Health also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton, King of Prussia and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare,one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence and the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center and is part of Main Line Health. Founded in 1927, LIMR’s mission is to improve human health and well-being. Faculty and staff are devoted to advancing innovative new approaches to formidable medical challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR’s principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical and translational research, using their findings to explore ways to improve disease detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. They are committed to extending the boundaries of human health through technology transfer and training of the next generation of scientists and physicians.