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  /  Nelson Award


Alain Cribier, MD, FACC. and Martin B. Leon, MD.


Established by the ISCTR Board of Directors, the Glen and Marilyn Nelson Award for Innovation and Translation in Cardiovascular Medicine honors leaders in translational cardiovascular medicine. This video provides more information about the award and its pioneering namesakes.


Alain Cribier, M.D., FACC, FESC

Alain Cribier, M.D., FACC, FESC is an interventional cardiologist, who is a Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiology at the University of Rouen’s Charles Nicolle Hospital. Alain Cribier is best known for developing and performing the world’s first transcatheter aortic valve implantation in 2002, the first mitral commissurotomy in 1995 and the first balloon aortic valvuloplasty in 1986.
Cribier began his cardiology residency at the University of Rouen in 1972 and in 1976 he spent a year in an interventional cardiology fellowship at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Cribier developed and performed the world’s first balloon aortic valvuloplasty in 1986. He performed the world’s first mitral commissurotomy in 1995. Following discovery that the balloon aortic valvuloplasty for severe aortic stenosis was not effective in 80% of patients after one year, he began developing the transcatheter aortic valve implantation procedure which he performed for the first time in 2002. This procedure has now spread across the world and has saved countless patient’s lives. He founded the Indo-French Foundation of Interventional Cardiology in 1996.

Since 2013, Cribier has run the MTC (Medical Training Center) in Rouen (France), a multidisciplinary center dedicated to learning medicine through simulation, video-conferences and training between surgeons, physicians and experts.

Martin B. Leon, MD.

Martin B. Leon, MD., is a Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy (CIVT) at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Previously, Dr. Leon was also the Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and currently he serves on the Executive Board of the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Heart Valve Center. Dr. Leon was the Founder of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) symposium and Chairman Emeritus of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) in New York City and is currently CRF’s Co-Director, Medical Research and Education Division. TCT is the largest dedicated interventional cardiology meeting in the world and CRF is the largest independent not-for-profit cardiovascular research center in the world.

A distinguished pioneer in interventional cardiovascular medicine, Dr. Leon has been the national principal investigator for over 50 clinical trials that have helped shape the field including STRESS, STARS, Gamma-one, SIRIUS, ENDEAVOR, RESOLUTE, and most recently, the PARTNER trials, studying the value of transcatheter valve therapy for patients with aortic stenosis. He has co-authored almost 2,000 peer reviewed scientific publications and abstracts, which have appeared in the most prestigious medical journals. As a practicing interventional cardiologist, Dr. Leon has performed over 10,000 procedures during his career.

He is the Founder and Director of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT), the world’s premier scientific symposium dedicated to interventional cardiovascular medicine, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. He has also been the Director or Co-Director of more than 100 international educational programs in the field. Dr. Leon has received 20 international career achievement awards and was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Athens.

Dr. Leon was previously the Director of Cardiovascular Research and Education at the Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute in New York as well as Director of Clinical Research at the Washington Cardiology Center at the Washington Hospital Center and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC. He also served as a Clinical Associate, Senior Investigator, and Director of the Catheterization Laboratories in the Cardiology Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He was a founder of the Washington Cardiology Center and the Cardiology Research Foundation in Washington, DC.

Dr. Leon received his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine internship and residency as well as a cardiology fellowship at the Yale-New Haven Hospital.