Columbia honors Packer for contributions in heart research

By Amanda Siegfried / Holidays 2010

Dr. Milton Packer, chairman of clinical sciences, has received the 2010 Lewis Katz Visiting Professorship in Cardiovascular Research from Columbia University Medical Center.

Given at a recent ceremony in New York City, the award honors Dr. Packer for his record of achievement in heart research and for making seminal contributions to the field of congestive heart failure, both in understanding its mechanisms and defining its rational management.

Dr. Milton Packer

“The award symbolizes the many contributions made by scientists before me,” Dr. Packer said.

“Thirty years ago, heart failure was a uniformly progressive disease that could only be expected to get worse as a patient got older. Now, with the help of new therapies, we have made great progress – but it’s important that there not be a period of ‘intellectual stagnation’ in thinking about new ways to combat this disease.”

Before joining the UT Southwestern faculty in 2003, Dr. Packer was chief of circulatory physiology and director of the Heart Failure Center at Columbia.

Over the years he has taken a leading role in the development of new heart-failure drugs, including ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, which are now the standard of care for most patients with heart failure.

“Dr. Packer has had a revolutionary impact in treating patients with congestive heart failure and continues to be a leader in the field,” said Dr. Allan Schwartz, chief of cardiology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.

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Dr. Packer holds the Gayle and Paul Stoffel Distinguished Chair in Cardiology.