Newswise — SAN FRANCISCO – September 27, 2019 – The Geoffrey O. Hartzler Master Operator Award will be presented to Shigeru Saito, MD, in a ceremony on September 27, 2019 at the 31st Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT), the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF). The award is given each year to a physician who has advanced the field of interventional cardiovascular medicine through technical excellence and innovation. TCT Directors, Martin B. Leon, MD, and Gregg W. Stone, MD, will present the award.

One of the world’s most experienced interventionalists, Dr. Saito is widely recognized for his contributions to the treatment of chronic total occlusions and the development of transradial coronary intervention bringing the procedure to Japan in 1995 after observing the practice in Taipei earlier that year. His live and video demonstrations throughout the 1990s and after the turn of the century proved a turning point for the use of the transradial approach in Japan, China, and throughout the rest of the world. Dr. Saito has also spearheaded initiatives for the global evaluation of devices being tested for regulatory approval.

“It is with great sincerity and warmth that we acknowledge Dr. Saito with this award,” said Dr. Leon, CRF’s Founder and Co-Director, Medical Research and Education. “Not only has he devoted his career to developing and refining CTO and transradial interventional techniques, but he is now one of the premier operators in Japan of transcatheter aortic and mitral valve interventions and is committed to bringing new structural heart technologies to Japan. His dedication to teaching and sharing the latest techniques with others has had a tremendous impact on the field and patient care.”

Dr. Saito is currently Director of the Division of Cardiology and Catheterization Laboratories and Vice Director at Shonan Kamakura General Hospital. He has also served as the principal investigator for more than 40 trials and sits on the editorial boards of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, Journal of Interventional Cardiology, International Journal of Cardiology, American Journal of Cardiology, Circulation, and Cardiovascular Revascularization Medicine.

“We are extremely honored to pay tribute to Dr. Shigeru Saito,” said Dr. Stone, CRF’s Co-Director, Medical Research and Education. “Dr. Saito is one of the most inspirational and accomplished individuals in interventional cardiology. Working closely with the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), he has enabled the approval of numerous interventional devices in Japan. On a global scale, his seminal advances in radial and chronic total occlusion intervention have improved cardiovascular outcomes for all patients.”

Dr. Saito completed his medical degree, internship, and residency at Osaka University School of Medicine. He also spent an internship and fellowship at Kansai Rosai Hospital and in the following years, he served as Chief of the Department of Medicine.


Previous winners of the TCT Geoffrey O. Hartzler Master Operator Award include: Eberhard Grube, MD;  Hideo Tamai, MD; Osamu Katoh, MD; Takahiko Suzuki, MD; Horst Sievert, MD, PhD; Barry D. Rutherford, MD; Bernhard Meier, MD; Marie Claude Morice, MD; Paul S. Teirstein, MD; Patrick L. Whitlow, MD; Alec Vahanian, MD; and John G. Webb, MD.

About CRF and TCT

The Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations specializing in interventional cardiology innovation, research, and education. CRF is dedicated to helping doctors improve survival and quality of life for people suffering from heart and vascular disease. For nearly 30 years, CRF has helped pioneer medical advances and educated doctors on the latest treatments for heart disease. CRF is comprised of the CRF Skirball Center for Innovation, CRF Clinical Trials Center, CRF Center for Education, CRF Digital, TCTMD, and Structural Heart: The Journal of the Heart Team.

Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) is the annual scientific symposium of CRF and the premier educational meeting specializing in interventional cardiovascular medicine. Now in its 31st year, TCT features major medical research breakthroughs and gathers leading researchers and clinicians from around the world to present and discuss the latest evidence-based research in the field. TCT also includes interactive training pavilions where clinicians can gain vital skills to apply immediately to their practices.

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