A busy day for Dr. Valentin Fuster in Calgary …
As many will know, world renowned cardiovascular researcher, Dr. Valentin Fuster, was in Calgary January 15th to receive the Libin/AHFMR Prize for Excellence in Cardiovascular Researcher. What many may not know was just how busy a day it was for Dr. Fuster!
The morning started with a scientific lecture at UCalgary Health Sciences Centre Theatre Three. This was a very well attended session with approximately one-hundred researchers, clinicians, trainees and staff present. By the time the lecture started there were people sitting on the stairs and standing along the back – a full house! Dr. Fuster walked the audience through the three defense mechanisms that fail on the way to thrombosis (blod clots that can lead to heart attacks and stokes), and areas that we may want to consider for research. The primary focus was on research towards prevention, built on the reality of a global epidemic in cardiovascular disease that will be crippling on the economic front if we cannot avert it.
Later that morning, and also throughout the afternoon, Dr. Fuster met with various individuals and teams of researchers for small group discussions. These meetings covered everything from outcomes research and prevention initiatives to basic science and advanced imaging. The intent of these meetings was many fold, not the least of which was to gain yet another expert’s thoughts on our focus going forward. A welcomed result of these meetings was Dr. Fuster’s own excitement about some of the initiatives happening in Calgary, and his wish to receive more information and follow-up from various members of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta!
The lunch session was a special one, as it was with the trainees of the Libin Institute. These included cardiovascular surgery and cardiology residents, students of the various sub-specialties and PhD students. Instead of a formal presentation, the format was a discussion with questions and answers. The trainees were most certainly captivated, as though many had already attended the morning session prior to the lunch session, they were overheard discussing plans to hear Dr. Fuster once again later in the day.
In the afternoon, approximately fifty people from the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, its Board, Committees and Donors, as well as other guests, gathered in the West Atrium of the Health Sciences Centre for a reception. This was an important time for reinforcing our relationships with all of the integral pieces that allow the Libin Institute to operate and be successful. In addition to Dr. Fuster, the CEO and Interim President Dr. Jacques Magnan of the AHFMR had also traveled for the occasion.
The attendees of the reception then all proceeded to the Libin Lecture Theatre, joining others from the public at large, to hear Dr. Fuster deliver a public lecture. The gathering of approximately one hundred fifty people were not disappointed, as Dr. Fuster led them through a presentation highlighting the importance of cardiovascular research in the global context. The wave, indeed a tsunami, of non-communicable diseases, is upon us, and this was clear from the World Health Organization data presented. Continuing on from some of the pieces presented in the morning session, Dr. Fuster added to the list of focus areas to consider. Advanced imaging and Genetics were two examples, particularly in identifying the 25% of high risk individuals who will end up getting a heart attack without preventative action. The end of the session was particularly interesting – Dr. Fuster shared the four T’s that could, one person at a time, save the world. If you didn’t attend the session, unfortunately, you missed them 😛
Earlier related: 2008 Libin AHFMR Prize!
Official site: Libin AHFMR Prize and other Libin Institute Awards