Julio C. Palmaz, M.D., Ashbel Smith Professor at UT Health San Antonio who revolutionized cardiology with his invention of the first stent, will receive the 2019 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize from Ohio University and the National Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Palmaz will receive the award along with four others for innovations leading to the widespread adoption of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), previously known as angioplasty with stent or coronary angioplasty. The $500,000 biennial prize, which recognizes a bioengineering achievement that significantly improves the human condition, cites PCI for “seminal contributions to coronary angioplasty, enabling minimally invasive treatment of advanced coronary artery disease.”
The Palmaz stent is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. In 1994 he and Richard Schatz, who is sharing in the award, created a modified coronary stent — two Palmaz stents joined by a single connector — approved by the FDA as the first stent indicated for the treatment of failure of coronary balloon angioplasty. The Palmaz-Schatz stent became the gold standard for every subsequent stent submitted for FDA approval.
Dr. Palmaz is a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
He and the other winners will receive the award at a National Academy of Engineering gala ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 20.