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 News Release - February 10, 2006

Chairman of Cleveland Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine Resigns

CLEVELAND, Feb. 10 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- The Cleveland Clinic announced today the resignation of Eric J. Topol, M.D., Chairman of the Clinic's Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and Professor of Medicine and Genetics of Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

He will be moving to the Department of Genetics at Case Western Reserve University and will continue to be the Program Director of the flagship $17 million NIH research grant on the genes and proteins that induce heart attacks, in collaboration with his colleagues at Cleveland Clinic. He will also become a consultant to the Clinic.

Known internationally for his research into the genetics of heart disease, Dr. Topol has been at Cleveland Clinic since 1991. "Under Eric's leadership, the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine has seen tremendous growth and gained significant national and international recognition for its leading-edge practices and groundbreaking research," said Delos "Toby" M. Cosgrove, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. "We are grateful for Eric's years of service, his exceptional academic integrity, and for his dedication to patients. He has made tremendous contributions to patient safety and to the field of cardiovascular medicine."

Some of these remarkable accomplishments during his tenure at the Clinic include:

-- Helped build the number one Heart Center, as ranked by US News & World Report for 11 consecutive years

-- Founder and Provost of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

-- Elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences in 2004

-- Principal Investigator of the Largest NIH and Ohio Research Grants in Clinic History

-- Leadership of Worldwide clinical trials to improve heart attack therapy and outcomes in 40 countries, including the 5 GUSTO trials which have changed medical practice and improved survival for heart attack victims

-- Developed the 32 Disease-Oriented Programs and the new Genomic Medicine Institute and Building

-- Recruitment of 25 cardiologists to the Cleveland Clinic in 2005

-- Discovered critical patient safety issues related to Vioxx and other medications and medical devices

-- Discovery of novel genes that induce or are associated with heart attacks

-- Created a charged academic environment for the training of fellows, residents and medical students, many of whom have gone on to leadership positions around the United States and internationally

The Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, which includes the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, which Dr. Topol led since 1991, has been ranked No. 1 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report for the past eleven years.

Dr. Topol is credited with discovering the first gene directly linked to heart attacks and in 1991 was the youngest person to become Chairman of the Clinic's Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the age of 36.

"With the Cleveland Clinic's great heritage of expertise in heart disease, it has been a phenomenal 15 year run for me to help further build the Cleveland Clinic's Heart Center. I am deeply indebted to all my colleagues who have provided such exceptional commitment to outstanding patient care and research, and to the Institution and Dr. Cosgrove for having given me the critical support to make great things happen. It is time for me to move on to a new challenge, and I am thrilled for the immediate future to be able to concentrate on the research that I am passionate about -- the genetics of heart attack," says Dr. Topol. "I feel honored to have worked side-by-side with the best cardiac surgeons in the world -- Drs. Toby Cosgrove, Bruce Lytle, and their phenomenal team."

Dr. Topol has served as chairman and principal investigator for more than 15 international multi-center randomized clinical trials, including the 5 GUSTO trials, the largest heart attack studies ever conducted, and many others, with cumulatively more than 200,000 patients enrolled. He was the first physician to administer recombinant t-PA, 2 different platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors (abciximab and eptifibatide), and a new anticoagulant (bivalirudin) to patients with coronary artery disease. The results of these large-scale trials, involving 40 countries around the world, substantially changed the approach to treating many patients with heart disease.

Dr. Topol serves on the editorial board for over 20 peer review medical publications including Circulation and frequently writes invited editorials for the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA and Lancet. He has over 950 original publications and has edited 18 books, including the Textbook of Interventional Cardiology (now in its 4th edition) and the Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, (3rd edition in press).

The Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. The Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names The Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,500 full-time salaried physicians at The Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2004, patients came for treatment from every state and 100 countries. The Cleveland Clinic website address is http://www.clevelandclinic.org .


Source: The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

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