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Eric Topol, MD, former chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland), has been named to head a new Translational Science Institute and Genomic Medicine Program for Scripps Health (San Diego) healthcare system. That program was rolled out yesterday at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference in Washington.

Topol left the Cleveland Clinic last year as what was considered the fall-out of his effort to be named CEO of the clinic. His departure was also widely seen as the result of conflicts with Toby Cosgrove, MD, who won the clinic’s CEO position. Thus, the appointment of Topol to the new institute provides him a new platform for his work in genetic-related disorders.

Topol also has a high profile as a critic of drug safety.

The new program was rolled out yesterday during the 18th annual Scientific Symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (New York) at the TCT conference.

Chris Van Gorder, president/CEO of Scripps said that Topol is “the first of many physician/scientists we hope to bring to Scripps in other clinical specialties. Just as Dr. Topol took the Cleveland Clinic to the No. 1 heart program in the nation, we know his contributions will help Scripps realize its vision of becoming the destination heart program for the West Coast.”

Scripps last month reported a major expansion of its clinical research program, led by academic oncologist and clinical researcher Brian Issell, MD. Topol and Issell will work together to expand Scripp’s clinical research.

“Scripps has everything it needs to be a world leader in cardiovascular medicine, genomics and translational science. The excellent clinical reputation of Scripps Health coupled with its longstanding relationship with The Scripps Research Institute , the genetic diversity of the San Diego population and its high concentration of exceptional biotechnology creates the ideal environment to develop a leading genomics and translational science program.”

Topol is also program director for the Specialized Center of Clinically Oriented Research on the molecular determinants of coronary artery disease, supported by an $18 million grant from the National Institutes of Health . He currently is a professor of genetics at the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland).

His work on genomics of coronary disease led to the discovery of the first autosomal dominant mutation inducing coronary disease and heart attack, leading to his receiving a variety of prestigious awards.

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