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 Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF). He is Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy (CIVT) and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Leon serves on the Executive Board of the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Heart Valve Center.

A distinguished pioneer in interventional cardiovascular medicine, Dr. Leon has been the 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 is the Founder and Director of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT), the world’s premier meeting dedicated to interventional cardiovascular medicine, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013. He has also been the Director or Co-Director of more than 100 international educational programs in the field. Dr. Leon has received 10 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

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 Director of the Echocardiography Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. She is currently the Director of Interventional Echocardiography at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Hahn is a leading authority in the field of echocardiography. For the last 15 years, 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.

Akiko Maehara, MD is Director of the Intravascular Imaging Core Laboratory and MRI Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. Dr. Maehara is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and has authored numerous papers related to cardiovascular interventions and the use of intravascular ultrasound. She received her medical degree in 1993 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. Dr. Maehara completed her clinical fellowship at the Toranomon Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, and a cardiovascular fellowship at the Cardiovascular Center at Toranomon Hospital. In 2000, 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.

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