Emerson Perin, MD, PhD, receives 2019 Ray C. Fish Award

Houston, Texas (February 11, 2019) – Dr. Emerson Perin has received the Texas Heart Institute (THI) 2019 Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement in Cardiovascular Diseases. This prestigious award honors cardiologists and cardiac surgeons from around the world whose innovations have contributed significantly to cardiovascular medicine and surgery.

THI’s President Emeritus, Dr. James T. Willerson, presented the annual award during the 18th Texas Update in Cardiovascular Advancements Symposium after highlighting the history of the nearly 40-year tradition. In accepting the award, Dr. Perin spoke on “Cell Therapy for the Heart: A Journey to Approval.”

Ray C. Fish was a leading figure in Houston’s natural gas industry and a philanthropist. Mr. Fish believed in the “American dream” of opportunity for success. He established the Ray C. Fish Foundation in 1959 to encourage the broadening of mankind’s self-knowledge and the nurturing of the American dream. After its founder’s death from heart disease, the Fish Foundation granted $5 million to make THI a reality. For this reason, THI’s highest professional award is given in honor of this extraordinary man.

The first Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement in Cardiovascular Diseases was presented in 1972 to Dr. Norman Shumway, a cardiovascular surgeon who pioneered the heart transplant operation. In total, 38 highly deserving recipients have been so honored by THI. (Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement Honor Roll)

Dr. Perin joined THI in 1988 as a cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology fellow and was the Outstanding Fellow of his graduating class. Since then, Dr. Perin has remained at THI as an interventional cardiologist in his private practice. He is consistently ranked in the top 1% of US interventional cardiologists. In 1998, he and Dr. Willerson cofounded THI’s Stem Cell Center. Under Dr. Perin’s leadership, the center has become recognized as a world leader in clinical cell therapy research for cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Perin has led multiple clinical trials to improve the treatment of heart failure, heart attacks, refractory angina, and peripheral arterial disease. He is a founding member of and principal investigator in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)’s Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network, a consortium of seven NHLBI-funded sites. One of this network’s missions is to increase the effectiveness of stem cell therapy for heart disease. In 2013, Dr. Perin was named a THI McNair Scholar in recognition of his pioneering clinical research.

In 2018, Dr. Perin founded THI’s Center for Clinical Research, which supports all areas of the institute’s clinical cardiovascular research, including protocol development, trial facilitation, and post trial assessment and reporting. His talented team provides resources, expertise, and best practices to facilitate proficient, compliant, ethical study conduct and management.

Today, Dr. Perin leads THI in his role as the Medical Director and he is globally recognized by his peers, having received the “Madrid Cardiovascular Stem Cell Therapy Prize for Contribution to Clinical Science in the Field” in 2018.

“Dr. Perin is an outstanding cardiologist, interventionalist, and clinical scientist with major contributions to regenerative medicine and stem cell research. He has developed novel stem cell approaches to treat patients with ischemic cardiomyopathies and heart failure.”— Dr. James T. Willerson, President Emeritus, THI

Photos from the Ray C. Fish Honors Ceremony and Symposium


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