[November 2008] Yale's heart services have long been a pre-eminent center for comprehensive cardiovascular care. Now, a new chief has big plans to enhance the program even further.
Michael Simons, MD, the new Chief of Cardiology says he was drawn to Yale because of its deep commitment to cardiovascular medicine.
"Both Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital are committed to strengthening a top-tier cardiology program and are investing significant resources to develop new clinical and translational research programs to benefit patients with all aspects of cardiac and vascular illnesses," Simons said.
Some of the cardiology services include:
Simons, who started his new job September 1, plans to build on this record of full-spectrum care in several ways. His first priority is to hire about a dozen new faculty members, both in the clinical and science areas.
He also wants to create a new clinical program that focuses on cardiovascular genetics. "I see this as a step toward personalized medicine," he said, "using patients' genetic signatures to optimize therapies and to tailor therapy to particular individuals."
Other items on Simons' ambitious to-do list include:
Before coming to Yale Simons was a professor of medicine and pharmacology and toxicology at Dartmouth and director of the Cardiovascular Center and the Angiogenesis Research Center at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. His research interest is angiogenesis, a physiological process involving growth of new blood vessels from existing vessels. He is exploring therapeutic applications of this process, specifically ways of using growth factors to stimulate new vessel growth to improve circulation in damaged regions of the heart or in blood-deprived limbs.
Simons received his medical degree from Yale School of Medicine in 1984. After an internship and residency at New England Medical Center in Boston, Mass., he completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Laboratory of Molecular Cardiology of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in the laboratory of Robert D. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of biology at MIT.
Simons is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and nuclear cardiology and is principal investigator on NIH research grants totaling more than $5 million. He is author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters.
“Michael Simons is an outstanding cardiologist, scientist and educator," said Jack A. Elias, MD, chair of internal medicine. "He will lead our program to new heights.”
John A. Elefteriades, MD, professor of surgery and chief of Cardiac Surgery looks forward to Simons boosting the translational research capabilities. “Dr. Simons is a wonderful recruit with an exceptionally distinguished background in the laboratory investigation of angiogenesis and in the translation of that research into clinical applications,” he said.
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