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      Dr. Alain Cribier, Who Pioneered Heart Valve Replacement with Catheter, Receives Texas Heart Institute’s Ray C. Fish Award for scientific achievement, contributions to cardiology

 Dr. Willerson and Dr. Cooley present Alain Cribier the Ray C. Fish Award 
Alain Cribier, MD (center) is presented the 2013 Ray C. Fish Award by Dr. James T. Willerson (left), president and medical director, Texas Heart Institute; and by Dr. Denton A. Cooley, MD, president emeritus, Texas Heart Institute on December 7, 2013 at the 13th annual Texas Update meeting in Houston, Texas.

Houston, Texas (December 10, 2013)  – Dr. Alain Cribier, who spent 20 years as Chief of Cardiology at Hospital Charles Nicolle at France’s University of Rouen, has received the 2013 Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement, presented annually by the Texas Heart Institute (THI).

Presented by famed heart surgeon and THI founder Denton A. Cooley, MD, and by THI President James T. Willerson, MD, during the 13th annual Texas Update in Cardiovascular Advancements Symposium, the award recognizes those whose innovations have made significant contributions to cardiovascular medicine and surgery.

Dr. Cribier became widely recognized for having performed the first balloon dilatation of the aortic valve for the treatment of calcific aortic stenosis (narrowing of the valve opening) in 1985,  and after 10 years of research, the first implantation of an aortic valve prosthesis using cardiac catheterization techniques in 2002. This last innovation has opened a revolutionary, less invasive way of treating aortic stenosis in patients at high risk for conventional surgery. The procedure, which was criticized at its early phases, is today recognized by the medical community as a breakthrough with a lasting impact on  medicine.

Dr.Cribier also pioneered development of a new technique for percutaneous dilation of the mitral valve, the commissurotome device, aimed at improving the cost-efficacy of the treatment of mitral stenosis, an endemic disease in developing countries.
Dr. Cribier has received many scientific distinctions and awards in France, Europe, the United States, South America and Asia for his pioneering work. In 2012 he was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

The late Ray C. Fish, Houston philanthropist, established the Ray C. Fish Foundation from which his generous gift to THI supported the Institute’s ability to serve a growing number of heart patients who were coming to the Institute in the 1960s. In honor of Ray Fish’s pivotal role in THI’s history, the Institute established the Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement in 1972. Since that time 24 physicians have received the prestigious award for their unique cardiovascular innovations.

The 13th  Texas Update in Cardiovascular Advancements Symposium was conducted on Dec. 7. The annual Continuing Medical Education (CME) event is designed to update medical professionals and researchers on the status and future directions of cardiovascular research and medicine.


For media inquiries please contact:

Director of Public Affairs
Texas Heart Institute
Frank Michel  ♦  832-355-9510  ♦  fmichel@texasheart.org 

For THI media profile, see Public Affairs.

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