Where Are They Now: A Look Back at a YIA Award Winner

"In medical school, I was fascinated by cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology, devouring chapters in Dr. Eugene Braunwald's Heart Disease," says Marc Sabatine, MD, MPH. Less than 2 decades later, Dr. Sabatine was appointed chair of the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Study Group, succeeding its founder and his mentor, Dr. Braunwald, in 2011. While this is one of Dr. Sabatine's hallmark accomplishments, he has a remarkably impressive record of other achievements, including the ACC's Young Investigator Award (YIA). Participating in the YIA abstract competition in 2005, Dr. Sabatine earned first place and a $2,000 monetary prize.

Reflecting on the challenges one faces in their early career, Dr. Sabatine says, "Recognition of one's investigative potential by the College at that critical juncture can serve as a source of tremendous pride and inspiration to continue on the path of being a physician-scientist."

Successfully embarking on this path, Dr. Sabatine helped lead multinational clinical trials such as CLARITY-TIMI 28 that contributed to defining the role of clopidogrel in patients with acute coronary syndromes and shaping ACCF/AHA and ESC Practice Guidelines.

Currently chair of the TIMI Study Group, an academic research organization within the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Sabatine is responsible for initiating and overseeing all clinical trials as well as a team of staff cardiologists and fellows. "We are now designing and launching a series of new trials covering a broad spectrum of cardiovascular therapeutics, including novel anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, lipid-modifying, and anti-diabetes drugs," explains Dr. Sabatine.

Dr. Sabatine also created the Pharmacogenetics Core Laboratory at the TIMI Study Group, which collects DNA from thousands of individuals and allows the TIMI scientists to examine the association of specific genotypes with the efficacy and safety of cardiovascular (CV) medications. "In particular," he said, "we have demonstrated that patients treated with clopidogrel after percutaneous coronary intervention who harbor a loss-of-function polymorphism in the gene encoding cytochrome P450 2C19, which transforms clopidogrel into its active metabolite, have lower degrees of platelet inhibition and higher rates of ischemic outcomes."

In conjunction with basic science colleagues at Harvard and the Broad Institute, the TIMI Study Group was awarded a contract from NHLBI establishing them as one of seven Proteomics Centers in the country. This has allowed them to use carefully phenotyped patients and sophisticated mass spectrometry techniques to identify novel biomarkers of early myocardial injury that change well before standard clinical biomarkers.

In addition to his research, Dr. Sabatine also spends time attending in the Coronary Care Units at both Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital, and teaching medical students, internal medicine residents, and cardiology fellows.

Serving in this duel role, Dr. Sabatine says, " I am grateful that my work allows me to blend the three elements I love most about medicine: helping critically ill patients get better, discovering new ways to better treat CVD, and mentoring the next generation of CV investigators.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, EP Basic Science

Keywords: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (U.S.), Coronary Care Units, Schools, Medical, Critical Illness, Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena, Internal Medicine, Pharmacogenetics, Awards and Prizes

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