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Texas Heart Institute President, Dr. James T. Willerson, Heading International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences   

James T. Willerson, MDHouston, Texas (August 15, 2011) – Dr. James T. Willerson, president and medical director of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital (SLEH), has assumed the presidency of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences, a group dedicated to the global promotion of cardiovascular research, education and prevention. 

Dr. Willerson's tenure, which is to run through July 2014, will be focused heavily on the high-level training of young scientists from developing countries in some of the most prestigious cardiovascular research centers in the developed world. 

"We want to find, recruit and train some of the most outstanding young candidates who will commit themselves to the goal of eradicating cardiovascular diseases, the world's most deadly diseases," said Dr. Willerson.  "There is a real war against these diseases that does not recognize international boundaries and neither should we, as we seek to prevent and eliminate them." 

To that end, Dr. Willerson is also working to develop a collaboration between the UnitedHealth Chronic Disease Initiative and the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that partners U.S. research institutions with 11 "Collaborating Centers of Excellence" across the globe to build research and training infrastructure and conduct research into chronic lung and cardiovascular disease. 

Those centers are located on the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, Tunisia, Kenya, South Africa, China, Bangladesh and two in India.  

For media inquiries please contact:
Director of Public Affairs
Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
Frank Michel  ♦  832-355-9510  ♦

For THI and St. Luke's media profiles, see Public Affairs.

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