Patients: Their Journey, Their Lessons For Clinicians

Patient, Michael C. Hiles, MSEE, PhD, Among Distinguished Awardees at ACC.20/WCC

Cardiology Magazine Image
Cardiology Magazine Image

A patient – for the first time ever – will be the recipient of a Presidential Citation given at ACC.20/WCC. Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC, will present the award to his patient Michael C. Hiles, MSEE, PhD, during Convocation.

"Dr. Hiles' personal journey has made me a better cardiologist and is an important reminder that what our patients do for us may be even more important than what we do for them," Kovacs says.

In practice, seeing the fullness of patients, who they are beyond the condition and disease that bring them to the office, is central to the physician-patient partnership. The power of this relationship brings healing and transformation for both.

Kovacs shares that equal to Hiles' scientific accomplishments is the example he has set for how he has dealt with adversity from heart disease. A complication of his congenital heart disease paralyzed him in the prime of his scientific career, but he hasn't let that stop him. He works, travels, lectures and has volunteered to represent the ACC on behalf of patients.

Hiles' interest in biomaterials and cardiology stemmed, at least in part, from his personal history with congenital heart disease. He has never slowed from pursuit of his scientific goals and still aspires to create an artificial blood vessel to treat vascular disease.

So far in his 25-year career in biomedical research and development, Hiles has gained preeminence despite the disability and has made major contributions in the fields of biomaterials, tissue engineering and cell-based therapies – leading to a deeper understanding of the use of biomaterials in wound healing and advances in the evolving field of regenerative medicine.

Hiles has more than 50 patents in the field and numerous publications, and is a sought-after lecturer around the world. He heads the research and development efforts of the major biotechnology branch of Cook, Inc., a leader in vascular device development worldwide.

In addition to being senior vice president for research and development and chief scientific officer for Cook Biotech, he is adjunct professor at Purdue University, from which he earned his Master's Degree in electrical engineering and PhD in veterinary physiology and pharmacology.

Beyond his scientific contributions that are propelling our profession forward, Kovacs shares: "Dr. Hiles is living proof that our profession is made stronger when those with diverse experiences and perspectives are welcomed and included," says Kovacs. "It has been a privilege to be Dr. Hiles' cardiologist for more than 25 years and I hope we will all continue to benefit from both his research and his experiences as a patient."

Honor Your Patient During Heart Month

Our patients are at the heart of our work. Share your story of a memorable patient, lessons learned and how their voice has transformed your practice of medicine. Email your story to to be shared in an article in Cardiology or share it at #CardiologyMag and tag #FaceofCardiology.

ACC.20/WCC Distinguished Awardees

Presidential Citation Award
Michael C. Hiles, MSEE, PhD

Pamela S. Douglas Distinguished Award for Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion
Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC

Lifetime Achievement Award
Charles Antzelevitch, PHD, FACC

Bernadine Healy Leadership in Women's CV Disease Award
Leslee J. Shaw, PhD, FACC

Distinguished Fellowship Award
Debabrata Mukherjee, MD, FACC

Distinguished Associate Award
Jennifer M. Ballard-Hernandez, DNP, AACC

Distinguished Teacher Award
Carole A. Warnes, MD, FACC

Gifted Educator Award
Annapoorna S. Kini, MBBS, FACC

Distinguished Mentor Award
James A. de Lemos, MD, FACC

Distinguished Service Award
Dhanunjaya R. Lakkireddy, MBBS, FACC

International Service Award
Jagat Narula, MD, PhD, MACC

Distinguished Scientist Award (Basic Domain)
Andrew L. Wit, PhD, FACC

Distinguished Scientist Award (Clinical Domain)
Jeroen J. Bax, MD, PhD, FACC

Distinguished Scientist Award (Translational Domain)
Benjamin D. Levine, MD, FACC

Douglas P. Zipes Distinguished Young Scientist Award
Carlo R. Bartoli, MD, PhD

Master of the American College of Cardiology
Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC
Michael J. Mack, MD, FACC
William Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC
George P. Rodgers, MD, FACC

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Regenerative Medicine, Biocompatible Materials, Tissue Engineering, Blood Substitutes, Electronic Mail, Universities, Goals, Awards and Prizes, Biomedical Research, Heart Diseases, Vascular Diseases, Biotechnology, Wound Healing

< Back to Listings