Scientific Leadership With Unparalleled Expertise

Led by thought leaders in clinical research and practice, the CTC is uniquely positioned to design clinical research protocols that answer the most important questions in cardiovascular medicine. Our leadership is comprised of a diverse group of renowned experts in the field who are continually looking for ways to improve and innovate the clinical research process. Drawing upon a thorough understanding of treatment guidelines, as well as the research and regulatory landscape, we work with sponsors to design and execute studies that have a profound impact on patient care.

Martin B. Leon, MD, is the Mallah Family Professor of Cardiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Chief Innovation Officer for the Division of Cardiology. He is also Director of the Cardiovascular Data Science Center. He previously served as Director of Columbia Interventional Cardiovascular Care and Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Leon serves on the Executive Board of the Columbia Heart & Valve Center and is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF).

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, and most recently, the PARTNER trial, 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. 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.

Gary S. Mintz, MD, is the Managing Co-Director of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT). Dr. Mintz joined the Cardiovascular Research Foundation in 1991. He is the author of more than 900 articles or book chapters and 700 abstracts focusing on intravascular imaging, but also including various aspects of hemodynamics, intravascular physiology, cardiac radiology, coronary arteriography, interventional cardiology, clinical cardiology, and cardiac ultrasound. In 2005, Dr. Mintz published the single-authored textbook Intracoronary Ultrasound. In 2014, he received the “Master of the Masters” career achievement award in Seoul, Korea. In 2015, he received the Chien Foundation Award for Outstanding Lectureship and Lifetime Achievement in PCI at the TCTAP-Cardiovascular Summit in Seoul, Korea. He also serves as co-director of both the annual TCT-AP Cardiovascular Summit and the annual China Interventional Therapeutics in Partnership with TCT.

Dr. Mintz completed his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania in 1970 and received his medical degree from Hahnemann University in 1974, both in Philadelphia, PA. He finished his internship in 1975, residency in 1976, and cardiology fellowship in 1978, each at Hahnemann University. He joined the Hahnemann University Department of Medicine faculty (with a joint appointment in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology) in 1978 and was ultimately promoted to Professor of Medicine in 1987. His administrative appointments there included Director of the Cardiac Ultrasound Laboratory, Director of the Coronary Care Unit, and Director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program. He received teaching awards from both the Department of Medicine Residency and Cardiology Fellowship Training Programs.

Alexandra Popma, MD, is the Executive Director of the CRF Clinical Trials Center (CTC). As Executive Director, she is responsible for the strategic direction, management, and operational aspects of the CTC. A distinguished researcher with over 20 years of experience, Dr. Popma comes to CRF from The Baim Institute for Clinical Research, a full-service nonprofit academic research organization in Boston, where she served as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to CRF, she was also the Director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Core Laboratory at Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Under her leadership, the core laboratory developed innovative methods for the analyses of cardiovascular imaging to better understand the outcomes of patients undergoing new device therapy. She received her medical degree from University del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia.

Ziad A. Ali, MD, DPhil is Director of the Angiographic Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. He is Associate Director of Translational Medicine at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. He is also the Victoria and Esther Aboodi Cardiology Researcher at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He received his medical degree from the University of Sheffield and doctorate in cardiovascular medicine from the University of Oxford. Dr. Ali fulfilled a residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University Medical Center. He also served as Chief Fellow in Cardiovascular Intervention at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Daniel Burkhoff, MD, PhD is Director, Heart Failure, Hemodynamics and MCS Research at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University. A world-renowned expert in heart failure and hemodynamics, Dr. Burkhoff collaborates on heart failure research initiatives across all divisions of CRF. Dr. Burkhoff is author of Harvi, an interactive simulation-based application for teaching and researching many aspects of ventricular mechanics and hemodynamics. Dr. Burkhoff works with the CRF Center for Education to develop novel curricula using Harvi in educational programs for practicing physicians, fellows, and medical students around the world.

Dr. Burkhoff’s interests include cardiovascular modeling and research in basic and clinical aspects of ventricular mechanics, cardiovascular monitoring, heart failure, device and pharmacologic treatments for heart failure, including left ventricular assist devices. He was instrumental in the creation of the CRF Skirball Center for Innovation, and served as Director when it opened in 2005. Before returning to CRF, he was Vice President of Medical Science for HeartWare International. Previously, he served as Medical Director of CircuLite. He received his medical and doctor of philosophy degrees from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed his cardiology fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dan may be contacted at

David J. Cohen, MD, MSc, is Director of Clinical and Outcomes Research at the CRF Clinical Trials Center and Director of Academic Affairs at St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center in Roslyn, New York. A world-renowned expert in health economics and outcomes research, Dr. Cohen has devoted his career to studying interventional cardiology devices and procedures, particularly drug-eluting stents and transcatheter aortic valve implantation. His research focuses on the application of formal cost-effectiveness methodology to novel interventions for cardiovascular disease, the extension of traditional cardiovascular outcomes research to include patient-centered outcomes, and the development and evaluation of tools for assessing patients’ health status and preferences.

Previously, Dr. Cohen was Professor of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Director of Cardiovascular Research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. Prior to that, he was Associate Director, Interventional Cardiology and Director of Interventional Cardiology Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he was also Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cohen earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School and his master’s degree in health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his clinical training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and was a clinical and research fellow in cardiology at Beth Israel Hospital. He is board certified in internal medicine, adult cardiology, and interventional cardiology.

Jose M. Dizon, MD is Director of the ECG Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. He is a practicing cardiologist and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Dizon's area of clinical expertise is cardiac arrhythmia management, including ablation of arrhythmias and device therapy. He received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Dizon completed his internship and residency at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and cardiology and electrophysiology fellowships at Columbia University Medical Center.

Rebecca T. Hahn, MD is Chief Scientific Officer, Echocardiography Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. She is currently the Director of Interventional Echocardiography at the Columbia Structural Heart & Valve Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and a Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Hahn is a leading authority in the field of echocardiography. She has served as Course Director for the Annual State-of-the-Art Echo Course which trains and educates health care professionals on established and new recommendations of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Previously, she directed the Echocardiography Lab at North Shore University Hospital and prior to that, was the Director of Clinical Echocardiography at Cornell University. Dr. Hahn received her medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and completed her internship, residency, and fellowship at New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.

Allen Jeremias, MD, MSc is the Director of Interventional Cardiology Research and Associate Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. He is also a member of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation in New York City where he currently serves as the Director of the Physiology Core Laboratory. He completed his medical training at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Stanford University School of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School. He has been a high volume interventional cardiologist since 2006 and recognized as a Top Doctor in the New York Metro Area by Castle Connolly.

Dr. Jeremias has significantly contributed to advancing the field of interventional cardiology and he is considered one of the foremost authorities in coronary physiology and intravascular imaging. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles, book chapters and books on various aspects of intravascular imaging and coronary physiology. He is also a co-director of the annual St. Francis Intravascular Imaging and Coronary Physiology Workshop, teaching physicians around the world on “Precision Angioplasty”.

Dr. Jeremias is presently engaged in several major global studies that could impact future treatment strategies for coronary artery disease. He is the principal investigator of DEFINE PCI, an international study on assessing the improvement in blood flow after stent placement by coronary physiology.

Omar Khalique, MD, FACC, FASE is an Attending Non-invasive Cardiologist and an assistant professor in medicine at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons specializing in non-invasive imaging of valvular and structural heart disease.

Dr. Khalique is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, echocardiography, cardiac computed tomography and nuclear cardiology.

Dr. Khalique attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. He did his internal medicine residency and his fellowship in cardiology at Westchester Medical Center of New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY, He did an advanced echocardiography and computed cardiac tomography fellowship, followed by further training in interventional and valvular echocardiography at Columbia University Department of Medicine.

Mahesh V. Madhavan, MD, MS, is Associate Director, Data Coordinating Center at the CRF Clinical Trials Center and plays an active role in helping design and undertake clinical trials. He is an interventional cardiologist with over six years of experience in adult cardiology, including coronary artery and valvular heart disease, pulmonary embolism, and congestive heart failure. Dr. Madhavan is a full-time faculty member and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Garnet Health Medical Center in Middletown, NY.

Board-certified in cardiovascular diseases, interventional cardiology, and echocardiography, Dr. Madhavan has expertise in complex coronary procedures, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), percutaneous mitral valve repair, left atrial appendage occlusion, patent foramen ovale and atrial septal defect closure, and transcatheter treatments for pulmonary embolism.

Akiko Maehara, MD is Director of the Intravascular Imaging Core Laboratory and MRI Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. She is a Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a leading authority in intravascular imaging and physiology.

Dr. Maehara received her medical degree from Yamaguchi University School of Medicine in Yamaguchi, Japan, and is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiology by the Japanese Society of Internal Medicine and Japanese Society of Cardiology. She completed her clinical fellowship at the Toranomon Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, and a cardiovascular fellowship at the Cardiovascular Center at Toranomon Hospital. Dr. Maehara finished a research fellowship in cardiovascular interventions at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, with an additional fellowship year at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC.

Sahil A. Parikh, MD is Director, Vascular Medicine and Endovascular Intervention at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. He is also Director, Endovascular Services for Columbia Interventional Cardiovascular Care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Parikh received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his internship, residency and chief residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, fellowships in cardiology and interventional cardiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, as well as a fellowship in vascular medicine and intervention at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Stuart J. Pocock, PhD, is Chairman of Biostatistics at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. As a professor of medical statistics for more than three decades at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, he uses his statistical and methodological expertise to bring forth the evidence for (or against, when relevant) cutting-edge technologies in interventional cardiovascular medicine and heart failure. Professor Pocock’s primary research interests center around major clinical trials in cardiology, focusing on methodological developments and applied collaboration. He is also interested in observational epidemiology, particularly pharmaco-epidemiology.

Currently, Professor Pocock, along with his colleagues, directs a statistical center for the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of major clinical trials, chiefly in cardiovascular diseases. A frequent lecturer on a variety of clinical trial topics, he is also a consulting expert statistician for a wide range of clinical trials and serves as a statistical member of many trial data-monitoring and steering committees. Professor Pocock earned his PhD and MSc in medical statistics at London University and his BSc in mathematics from Cambridge University.

Bjorn Redfors, MD, PhD, is the Medical Director of the CRF Clinical Trials Center. He is Professor of Cardiology at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Gothenburg University in Sweden, and a consultant cardiologist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, where he also received his training in internal medicine and cardiology. He received his medical degree from Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, and his PhD in medical science from Gothenburg University in Gothenburg, Sweden. He previously completed a research fellowship in interventional cardiology at CRF.

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