Letter From the Chairman

I hope you enjoy this issue, which highlights some of the exciting research and clinical trials that are ongoing at VCU Pauley Heart Center. I am grateful to be surrounded by colleagues who believe, as esteemed physician Sir William Osler did, that medicine is always about learning new things.

One of these colleagues is cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan, who has helped to transform VCU into one of the most preeminent total artificial heart centers on the East Coast. I am pleased that he has been selected as the new chair of the Department of Surgery for VCU Medical Center, and look forward to more of his transformations in the years ahead.

In this issue, you will learn about some of our junior faculty members, who are already making their mark in the world of medicine through their research. Our cover story profiles Dr. Antonio Abbate and Dr. Fadi Salloum, two young doctors who are truly devoted to scholarship and improving the conditions of patients with cardiovascular disease.

As you’ll also read in this issue, 35 years ago this July, two very young faculty members Dr. Michael Cowley and Dr. George Vetrovec—undertook the first coronary balloon angioplasty in our area. Dr. Cowley had only been here two years; Dr. Vetrovec, just three years. But, fascinated by the procedure, they had flown to Geneva to learn how to do it from the man who was its pioneer, Dr. Andreas Gruentzig.

Encouraging seekers has long been a part of our history. In this way, we vary from some other centers, where young curiosity is often stifled and told to wait its turn. At VCU, we can’t wait to begin.
Thank you for making all of these discoveries possible.

Kenneth A. Ellenbogen, M.D.
Chairman, Division of Cardiology

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