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American College of Cardiology to Honor Two Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Physicians During Annual Meeting

Robert J. Siegel, MD, to be Presented with Distinguished Teacher Award and P.K. Shah, MD, to be Named Master, American College of Cardiology

Contact: Sally Stewart | Email: sally.stewart@cshs.org

Los Angeles - March 12, 2015 - Two Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute physician-researchers are to receive prestigious awards from the American College of Cardiology during the medical society's 64th Annual Scientific Session & Expo.

Robert J. Siegel, MD, the director of the Heart Institute's Cardiac Noninvasive Laboratory and the S. Rexford Kennamer, MD, Chair in Cardiac Ultrasound, will be awarded the 2015 Distinguished Teacher Award by the 40,000-member medical society. P.K. Shah, MD, director of the Oppenheimer Atherosclerosis Research Center and the Shapell and Webb Family Chair in Clinical Cardiology, is to be named a Master of the college.

"Dr. Shah and Dr. Siegel are giants in cardiology and have contributed immensely to the outstanding reputation of the Heart Institute," said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. "Dr. Siegel is internationally recognized as one of the world's leading experts in cardiac ultrasound. His dedication to teaching new physicians how to use leading-edge technology to diagnose and treat heart disease is unparalleled. Dr. Shah, who first came to Cedars-Sinai in 1976, is known for his immense contributions to cardiac patient care, research and teaching."

In 2014, Shah and Siegel were both named Eliot Rapaport Cardiologists of the year by the California Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.

For more than 20 years, Shah has been working to develop a vaccine against heart disease caused by too much plaque in the arteries. In addition to the vaccine project, in the early 1990s, Shah and his team began studying a mutant gene that was found in a small number of inhabitants of a town in northern Italy. Residents who had the gene, called apo A-1 Milano, produce a form of "good" cholesterol that provides greater protection against vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis. Subsequent studies have shown that apo A-1 Milano could reverse arterial plaque build-up. Human studies are continuing.

Shah received his premedical degree from Sri Pratap College in his hometown of Srinagar, Kashmir, India. He received his medical degree from Medical College in Srinagar and completed an internship at SMHS Hospital before moving on to New Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences for a residency in neurology. Following an internship at Mount.Sinai Hospital in Milwaukee, Shah completed two more residencies in internal medicine, one at Mount Sinai in Milwaukee and the other at Montefiore Hospital of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Shah completed his cardiology training at Montefiore Medical Center of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Shah is the past recipient of Distinguished Scientist as well as Gifted Teacher award from the American College of Cardiology.

Siegel has been a staff cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai since 1982 and director of the Cardiac Noninvasive Laboratory since 1992. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, and his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. He trained at Emory University, Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and the National Institutes of Health. His areas of special expertise include valvular heart disease, pericardial diseases, and inherited cardiovascular disorders. He has published 355 peer-reviewed papers, edited three textbooks on cardiovascular ultrasound and contributed to more than 30 additional cardiovascular textbooks. Over the past decade, as an ultrasound imager, he has collaborated with interventional cardiologists in the development of Cedars-Sinai's percutaneous transcatheter program for the treatment of aortic and mitral valve disease. Cedars-Sinai physicians have performed more minimally invasive valve repairs and replacements than physicians at any other U.S. medical center.

A committed medical volunteer, Siegel has recruited cardiology trainees and staff to work with him in rural Mexico and Saipan, as well as at the Los Angeles Free Clinic, where he established a cardiology program. As a clinician and teacher, Siegel is committed to instructing and involving his trainees in all aspects of clinical cardiology, to stimulating their research potential and productivity, and to promoting the spirit of volunteerism. Siegel has trained a generation of cardiology fellows and residents as well as cardiologists from around the world who have come to Cedars-Sinai to study and do research with Siegel.