Following an extensive national search, physician-scientist Christine M. Albert, MD, MPH, has been named founding Chair of the newly established Department of Cardiology in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai.
"Dr. Albert is a national cardiology leader with seminal clinical and scholarly contributions toward better understanding heart rhythm disorders, one of cardiology's great mysteries," said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Smidt Heart Institute. "She is a highly respected cardiovascular and preventive medicine specialist, and will no doubt help us conquer heart disease, the world's leading cause of death."
The new Department of Cardiology that Albert will lead beginning on Sept. 3 aligns with another new department, the Department of Cardiac Surgery. Both departments are part of the Smidt Heart Institute, which encompasses all Cedars-Sinai heart care, research and education under the leadership of Marbán. Albert will have responsibility for leading the strategic direction of clinical, operational, academic and research programs of the Department of Cardiology.
Albert's leadership will build on institute accomplishments that include the leading heart transplantation and transcatheter valve repair and replacement programs in North America as well as a robust research program into Albert's specialty, heart rhythm and sudden cardiac death. Cedars-Sinai is ranked No. 3 in the U.S. for Cardiology and Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report.
Albert has more than 160 peer-reviewed publications and serves on various editorial boards of scientific journals. She is president-elect of the highly respected Heart Rhythm Society and the Principal Investigator on two large ongoing research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health. One of her current research projects is a 5,800-patient, multicenter clinical study that aims to identify those at increased risk for sudden cardiac death by employing combinations of clinical, lifestyle, biomarker, genetic and imaging data.
Albert joins Cedars-Sinai from Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital where she directs the Center for Arrhythmia Prevention and is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
"Dr. Albert is best known for making major contributions to understanding how diet and lifestyle affect heart rhythm disorders, including atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death," said Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, executive vice president and dean of the Cedars-Sinai faculty. "The impact of her scientific and clinical achievements is far-reaching."
Albert earned her medical degree and Master of Public Health at Harvard and completed her clinical fellowships in cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a research fellowship in epidemiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, both in Boston. She is board-certified in cardiovascular disease and cardiac electrophysiology and is a graduate of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program.
In addition to the new Department of Cardiology led by Albert, the Smidt Heart Institute has created a new Department of Cardiac Surgery that will be led by Joanna Chikwe, who also joins Cedars-Sinai this fall from the Mount Sinai Health System in New York.
Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: What's It Like to Be a Woman in Medicine?