UA Sarver Heart Center Member Awards and Accolades

Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, chief of cardiology, professor of medicine and director of the UA Sarver Center was:

  • Appointed to the Clinical Trials Scientific Review Committee of NHLBI.
  • Named Editor-in-Chief of the premier cardiovascular medicine journal, Circulation Heart
  • Failure.
  • Elected to serve as the editor’s representative to the Fellows-In-Training Committee of the American Heart Association.
  • Author on a recently published guidelines document on cardiogenic shock (Circulation).
  • Named to the inaugural group of Fellows of the Heart Failure Society of America (a new designation from the society).

Joseph Alpert, MD, professor of medicine, recently gave invited lectures, including several keynote lectures at the:

  • Moscow Cardiology Congress, sponsored by Moscow University.
  • 12th International Conference on Innovations in Coronary Artery Disease in Venice, Italy.
  • Annual Scientific Meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Mayo Clinic Continuing Medical Education meeting in Tucson.
  • International Meeting of the Chinese Anatomical Society in Xian.

Dr. Alpert also authored the chapter on infectious endocarditis in the most recent edition of Hurst’s Cardiology textbook, in collaboration with Stephen Klotz, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Khadijah Breathett, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine, was:

  • Lead author on an article, “Early Prenatal Care Among Women With Pre-existing Diabetes: Have Income Disparities Changed?” in the Journal of Women’s Health.
  • Co-author on “Structural and Functional Phenotyping of the Failing Heart: Is the Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction Obsolete?” in the Journal of American College of Cardiology Heart Failure.

Heddwen L. Brooks, PhD, professor of medicine, physiological sciences and physiology, and associate professor of pharmacology:

  • Lectured on “Sex differences in T cell-dependent hypertension: Role of menopause in disease onset,” at University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Organization of the Society of Sex Differences in Montreal, Canada.
  • Is associate editor of American Journal of Physiology, Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
  • Serves on the American Heart Association’s Council for Hypertension nominating committee and Established Investigator Award Peer Review Committee, and on the American Physiological Society’s Education Committee.

Qin Chen, PhD, professor of pharmacology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, lectured this past summer in Xian, China, at an international meeting of the Chinese Anatomical Society.



Jennifer Cook, MD, associate professor of medicine and medical director of advanced heart failure, mechanical circulatory support and transplant cardiology is:

  • Co-chair, membership committee for American Heart Association.
  • Co-chair of the writing group and first author of the recent scientific statement, “Recommendations for the Use of Mechanical Circulatory Support: Ambulatory and Community Patient Care: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association,” Circulation, 2017 June 20. The statement provides guidance for primary providers and the first responders on management of patients with ventricular assist devices.

Dr. Cook also led five high-profile heart failure simulation sessions at AHA Scientific Sessions 2017 in Anaheim in November.

Raj Janardhanan, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of noninvasive cardiac imaging:

  • Was an invited international faculty member for the 2017 World Congress of Echocardiography in Jaipur, India. He also presented grand rounds at Trivandrum
  • Medical College in India and the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
  • Serves on the Contrast Update Writing Group Committee for the American Society of Echocardiography.
  • Authored “How to Do Transesophageal Echocardiography” for the Textbook of Echocardiography

Jason Karnes, PharmD, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacy practice-science, chairs the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics’ Pharmacogenomics Community and is chair-elect of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s  Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacogenomics [PK/PD/PG] Practice & Research Network.

He was awarded the following grants:

  • National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program (Clinical Research LRP) from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
  • Riken-Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN) through Riken Center for Integrative Medical Science, Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution, to study “Deep Sequencing to Identify Genetic Determinants of Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia.”

Dr. Karnes was lead author on:

  • “Influence of HLA alleles and KIR types on Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia,” Pharmacotherapy 2017.
  • “Phenome-wide scanning identifies multiple diseases and disease severity phenotypes associated with HLA variants,” Science Translational Medicine 2017.
  • “Comparison of Allelic Imputation Programs,” Plos One 2017.

Toshinobu Kazui, MD, PhD, assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery:

  • Lead author on, “A dual therapy of off-pump temporary left ventricular extracorporeal device and amniotic stem cell for cardiogenic shock,” Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
  • Co-author on articles in Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Journal of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology, and Journal of Extra Corporeal Technology.
  • Abstract presenter at the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Annual Congress and the 117th Annual Congress of Japan Surgical Society.

Collaborators from the Sarver Heart Center included Raymond Runyan, PhD, Richard Smith, Zain Khalpey, MD, PhD, Ankit Desai, MD, Scott Lick, MD, Elizabeth Juneman, MD, Jennifer Cook, MD, Nancy Sweitzer, MD, PhD, and Charles Cairns, MD.

Karl B. Kern, MD, professor of medicine and co-director of the UA Sarver Heart Center, chairs the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee. The AHA updated 2017 CPR Guidelines re-emphasize the importance of bystanders starting immediate chest compressions if they see an adult collapse in a suspected cardiac arrest. These guidelines also highlight the need for rapid response and stress the importance of providing dispatch-assisted CPR instructions when cardiac arrest is suspected.

Kwan Lee, MD, associate professor of medicine, associate chief for clinical cardiology and director of cardiovascular simulation, was elected governor for American College of Cardiology Arizona Chapter 2019-2022.



AZBIO Awards

Marvin J. Slepian, MD, was honored by the Arizona Bioindustry Association with the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2017 AZBio Awards. Dr. Slepian is a cardiologist, inventor, entrepreneur, educator, innovator and more. At the UA, he serves as professor of medicine, professor and associate department head of biomedical engineering, professor of material sciences and engineering, professor of medical imaging, McGuire Scholar in the UA Eller College of Management and member of the UA Sarver Heart Center. Dr. Slepian also is the founder and director of the newly created Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation (ACABI) – a “creativity engine” focused on novel solution development for unmet medical needs.

Steve Goldman, MD, professor of medicine, and Jordan Lancaster, PhD, assistant research scientist in the UA Sarver Heart Center, received the 2017 AZBio Fastlane Award along with Jen Koevary, PhD, who earned her doctorate in biomedical engineering from the UA and was previously part of Tech Launch Arizona. The three have formed a company, Avery Therapeutics, which was honored for its rapid progress in developing a novel lifesaving medical device. The MyCardia implant has the potential to stop the progression of heart failure and improve patients’ quality of life.




Best Doctors Listing

Congratulations to the following Sarver Heart Center members who are listed in Best Doctors in America 2017:

Joseph Alpert, MD, Cardiovascular Disease

Mark Friedman, MD, Cardiovascular Disease

Mathew Hutchinson, MD, Cardiac Electrophysiology

Julia Indik, MD, PhD, Cardiac Electrophysiology

Raj Janardhanan, MD, Cardiovascular Disease

Karl Kern, MD, Interventional Cardiology

Kwan Lee, MD, Interventional Cardiology

Kapil Lotun, MD, Cardiovascular Disease

Peter Ott, MD, Cardiac Electrophysiology

Brent Barber, MD, Pediatric Cardiology

Scott Klewer, MD, Pediatric Cardiology

Daniela Lax, MD, Pediatric Cardiology

Mary-Jane Barth, MD, Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery

Scott Lick, MD, Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery