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- Current Recipient:
- Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa
The Julio Palmaz Award for Innovation in Healthcare and the Biosciences was launched in San Antonio by BioMed SA, a non-profit corporation founded in 2005 to help grow and promote the city's thriving healthcare and bioscience sector. The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to advances in these fields. Dr. Palmaz accepted the first award, named in his honor, at BioMed SA's Annual Meeting in 2006.
Dr. Palmaz is widely recognized for inventing the first commercially successful intravascular stent, which gained a U.S. patent in 1988 and received FDA approval for use in cardiac arteries in 1994. The Palmaz® Stent revolutionized cardiac care, with more than a million people a year undergoing coronary artery stenting to repair clogged arteries.
For two years in a row, his patent on the balloon-expandable stent was recognized as one of the "Ten Patents that Changed the World" published in IP Worldwide magazine, August 2002. In 2006, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. His early stent research artifacts are now part of the medical collection of the Smithsonian Institutions.
Dr. Palmaz holds the Ashbel Smith Professorship as a tenured Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He received his M.D. degree in 1971 at the National University of La Plata, Argentina, and completed his radiology specialty training at the University of California, Davis in 1980.
He began his professional career in 1974 at San Martin University Hospital, Argentina, and was chief of special procedures at Martinez Veterans Administration hospital in 1981. In 1983, Dr. Palmaz joined the University of Texas Health Science Center, Department of Radiology as Chief of Angiography and Special Procedures until 1999, and as Chief of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology Research until 2005.
Dr. Palmaz has 20 issued patents and is the author of 29 books or book chapters and has authored 101 peer-reviewed publications. He is a Member of the Editorial Board for Circulation and is a Scientific Reviewer for several other journals including the Journal of Vascular Surgery and the Journal of Vascular, Interventional Radiology and the Journal of Cardiovascular Radiology.
In January 2003, Dr. Palmaz received the Presidential Distinguished Scholar Award from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He received the title of "Master of Interventional Cardiology" from the Argentina College of Cardiology, and "Extraordinary Professor" from the National University of La Plata, Argentina.
He has also received honorary titles or awards from the International Society of Endovascular Surgery, the Society of Interventional Radiology, the German Roentgen Society, The Rotterdam Thoraxcenter in Holland, the Washington Cardiovascular Research Foundation, the Society of Cardiac Angiography, the Texas Heart Institute, the Texas Bar Association, the San Antonio chapter of the AHA, the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute, the Cardiovascular Institute of the South, and the Surfaces in Biomaterials Foundation.