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Cardiovascular Board Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Exam Committee

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Mark J. Zucker, MD, Chair

Mark J. Zucker, MD, ChairDr. Zucker, board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, is Director of Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant at the Barnabas Health Heart Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and has been involved with heart transplantation since 1987. Under his leadership, the Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program at Newark Beth Israel was ranked among the top 10 programs in the nation in volume for the past three years. More than 440 heart transplants, 31 lung transplants and over 150 left ventricular assist device implants have been performed at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. The program's results rival those at nationally renowned centers, with a one-year heart transplant survival rate over the past few years in excess of 91 percent and a three-year survival rate in excess of 80 percent. He subsequently joined the faculty at Loyola University Medical Center as one of four attending transplant cardiologists. He joined Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in 1989 as Director of Cardiac Transplantation and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Zucker served as a Director of the original New Jersey Affiliate of the American Heart Association and is a founding member of the new Heritage Affiliate of the American Heart Association, for which he served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1998 to 2000. In 2004, Dr. Zucker was voted President/Governor of the New Jersey Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. In addition, he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network for more than 15 years, served twice as the Thoracic Representative for the Mid-Atlantic states to the United Network for Organ Sharing, and presently serves as the representative from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Board of Governors to the ACC's Subcommittee on Heart Failure and Transplantation. Additionally, he is chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine Cardiovascular Board Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Exam Committee.

Dr. Zucker attended Northwestern University's School of Medicine where he remained for his residency in internal medicine followed by clinical and research fellowships in cardiology. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Zucker is a graduate of Loyola University Law School and is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, New York and Illinois.

As of January 2017, Dr. Zucker reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses, paid to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, from the following companies:

  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, for a study of small interfering RNA to treat amyloidosis.
  • Mesoblast, for a study of stem cells.
  • Pfizer, for a study of tafamidis in the treatment of transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-ACT Trial).
  • Prothena Corporation, for a study of drug designed to treat amyloid light-chain amyloidosis.
  • St. Jude, for a study of a left ventricular assist device.
  • Vericel Biosciences,for a stem cell trial.

Dr. Zucker serves in significant roles with the following organizations, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American College of Cardiology, Councilor, New Jersey Chapter, without compensation.
  • NJ Sharing Network, serving as Chair, Advisory Board of the New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network, without compensation.

Biykem Bozkurt, MD, PhD

Biykem Bozkurt, MD, PhDDr. Bozkurt, who is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, is the Medical Care Line Executive (Medicine Department Chair) and Cardiology Chief at the DeBakey VA Medical Center; W.A. “Tex” and Deborah Moncrief, Jr., Chair; Mary and Gordon Cain Chair and Professor of Medicine; and Vice-Chair of Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine; Director of the Winters Center for Heart Failure and Associate Director of Cardiovascular Research Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She teaches medical students, residents and fellows and mentors trainees in clinical and translational research.

Previously, Dr. Bozkurt served as the Associate Director of Cardiovascular Research Institute at Baylor College of Medicine and Assistant to Chief of Medicine at the DeBakey VA Medical Center.

Throughout her academic career, Dr. Bozkurt has received numerous awards or recognition including the Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Faculty Excellence Awards in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2012; Baylor College of Medicine Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr. Presidential Award for Excellence in Education in 2014 and Master Clinician Lifetime Award at Baylor College of Medicine in 2014. Dr. Bozkurt was awarded the very prestigious national American College of Cardiology Proctor Harvey MD, Young Teacher Award in 2005.

Dr. Bozkurt currently serves on the American Board of Internal Medicine Cardiovascular Board Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Exam Committee; the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Data Standards; the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association Task Force for Practice Guidelines; the Heart Failure Society of America Executive Council; and the American College of Cardiology Heart Failure Council. She actively participates in clinical research and national and international scientific sessions in the field of heart failure.

Dr. Bozkurt received her medical degree from University of Istanbul. She completed internal medicine residency, chief medical residency and cardiology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine and subspecialty fellowship training in heart failure and cardiac transplantation at the University Pittsburgh Medical Center. She received her doctoral degree as a National Institutes of Health K30 scholar in clinical translational science in heart failure.

As of January 2017, Dr. Bozkurt reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to Baylor College of Medicine, from the following companies:

  • Novartis, for a study of serelaxin added to standard therapy in acute heart failure (Relax-II) and for a study of sacubitril/valsartan vs. enalapril in patients stabilized after acute heart failure (Pioneer).
  • Circulation: Heart Failure, receiving compensation for service as Associate Editor.

Dr. Bozkurt serves in significant roles with the following organization(s), receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American College of Cardiology, Chair-Elect of ACC Heart Failure Council; receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.
  • American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association, Member of ACCF/AHA Task Force for Practice Guidelines; Chair-Elect for ACCF/AHA Task Force for Data Standards, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.
  • Heart Failure Society of America, Member of Executive Council, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.

Savitri E. Fedson, MA, MD

Savitri E. Fedson, MA, MDDr. Fedson is an Associate Professor of Medicine, in the section of cardiology at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology. She is also an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine.

Previously, Dr. Fedson practiced advanced heart failure/transplant cardiology at the University of Chicago, and served as the interim director of the Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program. While there, she also established the ACGME-accredited fellowship in Advanced Heart Failure, and led two medical school courses in cardiovascular pathophysiology. She completed a fellowship in Clinical Ethics at the Maclean Center for Clinical Ethics at the University of Chicago, and served as an Ethics Consultant for the hospital.

At the University of Chicago, Dr. Fedson was elected to be a Bucksbaum Institute Senior Faculty Scholar. These scholars are selected based upon recommendations from the chair, peers, junior faculty and medical students in addition to their recognized skills as outstanding physicians and teachers at the University. She has served on the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Committee for Question Writing for heart failure/transplantation, as well as on the ACC Workforce on Professional Competency. She currently serves as a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Cardiovascular Board Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology Exam Committee.

Dr. Fedson received a joint bachelor’s and master’s degree in intellectual history from the University of Chicago with general honors. She received her medical degree from the University of Virginia. She completed her internal medicine training at the University of Chicago Medical Center, followed by a chief residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. She then completed her cardiovascular fellowship also at the University of Chicago, and spent time as an advanced heart failure fellow at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

As of September 2017, Dr. Fedson reported no external relationships:

Maryl Johnson, MD

Maryl Johnson, MDDr. Johnson is Professor of Medicine and a Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiologist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology.

Prior to coming to the University of Wisconsin in 2002 as the Medical Director of Heart Failure and Transplantation, Dr. Johnson served as the Medical Director of Heart Failure and Transplantation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as Associate Medical Director of Heart Failure and Transplantation at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center and Loyola University Medical Center, and as the Medical Director of Heart Transplantation at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Johnson is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Cardiology Board Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology Exam Committee. She served as a resident member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Advisory Council and has been a member and chair of NIH review committees. She is past-President of the American Society of Transplantation and has served as Chair of the Heart Failure and Transplant Committee of the American College of Cardiology. She a past Chair of the UNOS/OPTN Thoracic Organ Committee, past Secretary of the UNOS/OPTN Board of Directors, and current Chair of the UNOS/OPTN Data Advisory Committee. She is currently the Past President of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and is Past Chair of the society’s Standards and Guidelines Committee. She serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.

Dr. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology at Iowa State University and her medical degree from the University of Iowa School of Medicine. She trained in internal medicine and cardiovascular medicine at the University of Iowa, where she also served as Chief Medical Resident.

As of July 2017, Dr. Johnson reported the following external relationships:

Consulting on design of new drugs or devices, clinical trials, the use of specific agents or other research-related activities for the following companies, with compensation for travel expenses:

  • GE Medical, serving as a member of the steering committee for the ADMIRE clinical trial, evaluating the use of AdreView imaging to determine the need for an implantable cardiac defibrillator in patients with left ventricular ejections fraction of 30-35%.

Dr. Johnson serves in significant roles with the following organizations, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation, Past President, receiving travel reimbursement.
  • United Network for Organ Sharing, Chair of the Data Advisory Board, receiving travel reimbursement.

Andrew Kao, MD

Dr. Kao is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Medical Director of the Heart Transplant Program at St. Luke’s Hospital Mid America Heart Institute. He is also Medical Director of the Cardiopulmonary Exercise Laboratory. He was previously an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the Division of Cardiology, Section of Heart Failure and Transplant. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Oregon Health Sciences University, Division of Cardiology, Section of Heart Failure and Transplant. He is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease and in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology.

Dr. Kao has been actively involved in all aspects of heart failure and transplant clinical research, and was on the Steering Committee of the HF-ACTION study and will be on the Steering Committee of the PARACHUTE-HF study. He was one of the co-chairs of an International Society of Heart and Lung Transplant (ISHLT) Academy Core Competency Course for Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Medicine in 2016. Dr. Kao is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Cardiovascular Board Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology Exam Committee. He has been an abstract reviewer for the American College of Cardiology, ISHLT and American Heart Association. He has given numerous lectures on heart failure and transplant regionally and nationally, and has also served on several United Network of Organ Sharing committees.

Dr. Kao graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed internal medicine residency at the University of Minnesota and a cardiovascular fellowship at Duke University, and training in heart failure and transplant cardiology at Oregon Health Sciences University.

As of July 2017, Dr. Kao reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to St. Luke’s Cardiovascular Consultants, from the following companies:

  • CardioKinetix, for a randomized trial of the Parachute device for ventricular apical akinesis or aneurysm in heart failure.
  • CareDx, D-OAR, registry of clinical use of gene expression profiling post-heart transplant to correlate with outcomes, with blood samples for donor-derived cell-free DNA in detecting rejection.
  • Respircardia, to investigate the use of a phrenic nerve stimulator system to treat central sleep apnea.
  • Sensible Medical, a randomized trial of the utility of a wearable vest with radar technology to detect lung fluid, to see if such monitoring in heart failure patients may reduce hospitalizations for heart failure.

Wai H. W. Tang, MD

Wai H. W. Tang, MDDr. Tang is Professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, as well as Research Director and staff cardiologist in the Section of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation Medicine in the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He is board certified in internal medicine (recertified in 2009), cardiovascular medicine (recertified in 2013) and advanced heart failure and transplantation medicine (certified in 2014), and is an active participant in the MOC program.

Dr. Tang currently serves as member of the Board of Directors for the Heart Failure Society of America. Previously, Dr. Tang served as member of the national heart failure guidelines committees for the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology as well as the Heart Failure Society of America. Dr. Tang has authored over 610 published peer-reviewed manuscripts in medical and scientific journals as well as 82 chapters in medical textbooks, and currently serves in the Editorial Boards for Journal of the American College of Cardiology Heart Failure, Circulation Heart Failure, and American Heart Journal.

Dr. Tang currently serves as the Director of the Center for Clinical Genomics, that aims to empower caregivers towards clinical delivery of genomics and precision medicine. Dr. Tang practices cardiovascular medicine and advanced heart failure/transplantation medicine at the Cleveland Clinic since 2004, with specialty interests that include heart failure, cardiomyopathy and genetic heart diseases, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory assist devices, cardio-renal diseases, and cancer-related heart diseases. Dr. Tang’s translational research has been funded by grant support from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Tang has been elected as member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2013 and the Association of Academic Physicians in 2018, both national honor societies for physician scientists for his contributions in heart failure and cardiovascular research.

Dr. Tang graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in neural sciences from Brown University in Rhode Island, where he also matriculated at Jesus College, Cambridge University, in England for an honorary one-year period of study in molecular medicine. Dr. Tang received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine, and a postdoctoral research fellowship in heart failure at Stanford University Medical Center. This was followed by clinical cardiology fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic, and an advanced clinical fellowship in heart failure and cardiac transplantation.

As of April 2019, Dr. Tang reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses and staff, paid to the Cleveland Clinic, from the following companies:

  • Array Biopharma, serving as a Site Investigator for a Phase III Study of LMNA Cardiomyopathy.

Consulting on design of new drugs or devices, clinical trials, the use of specific agents or other research-related activities for the following companies, with honoraria:

  • Sequana Medical Inc.
  • MyoKardia Inc.
  • OptumInsight

Work as an author or editor for following companies, with compensation as listed:

  • Springer Nature, receiving compensation as an editor.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health, receiving compensation as an editor.

Dr. Tang serves in significant roles with the following organizations, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • Heart Failure Society of America, Board of Directors, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.

Hector O. Ventura, MD

Hector O. Ventura, MDDr. Ventura, who is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, is the Section Head, Cardiomyopathy and Heart Transplant Center at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, Louisiana. He is also a Professor, Cardiology, The University of Queensland School of Medicine, Ochsner Clinical School, Brisbane, Australia as well as a Professor of Medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

From 1997 to 2000, Dr. Ventura served as Clinical Professor of Medicine, Director of Cardiovascular Research and Co-Director of Advanced Heart Failure/Cardiac Transplantation at the Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans. Prior to that, he served as co-Director of the Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Program at Ochsner Medical Institutions.

Dr. Ventura's research includes studies on arterial hypertension following cardiac transplantation, the effect of digitalis on mortality in heart failure, and lipid profiles after cardiac transplantation. He has co-authored more than 550 articles, abstracts and book chapters and is on the editorial boards of numerous peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and serves as a member of the Cardiology Training & Workforce Committee. Dr. Ventura is a past Governor of the Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Cardiology, and a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Cardiovascular Board Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Exam Committee. He is also a member of other professional societies, including the American Heart Association, American Society of Transplant Physicians, International Society of Heart Transplantation and American Osler Society.

After graduating from the National University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine in Argentina, Dr. Ventura completed an internship and residency at the Central Military Hospital in Buenos Aires, followed by research fellowships in arterial hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, an internship and an internal medicine residency at the Ochsner Medical Institutions in New Orleans.

As of January 2017, Dr. Ventura reported the following external relationships:

Funding for clinical trial expenses, paid to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, from the following company:

  • Pfizer, to evaluate tafamidis for the treatment of cardiac amyloidosis.

Dr. Ventura serves in significant roles with the following organizations, receiving reimbursement or compensation as listed:

  • American College of Cardiology, President of Louisiana Chapter, receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.