Heart Doctor Receives Prestigious Award
Dr. James Willerson has been named by the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital as the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement. The award recognizes those whose innovations have made significant contributions to cardiovascular medicine and surgery.
“I am the luckiest man alive to be a part of the work of so many good people helping to improve treatments and save lives at THI,” Willerson said in a statement. He will receive a cash award to help support his research into adult stem cell therapy.
Willerson is president and medical director, director of cardiology research and co-director of the Cullen Cardiovascular Research Laboratories at the nonprofit heart institute. He is a former chairman of the National American Heart Association Research Committee and of the National Institutes of Health Cardiovascular and Renal Study Section.
Ray Fish was a philanthropist and leading figure in the natural gas industry. The Ray C. Fish Foundation was established so that others might be encouraged to broaden man’s self-knowledge and to keep the American dream alive. After its founder’s death from heart disease, the Fish Foundation granted $5 million to help make the Texas Heart Institute a reality. For this reason, the Institute’s highest professional award is given in honor of Fish.