Dr. Richard A. Schatz
Dr. Richard A. Schatz Russ Prize
Research Director of Cardiovascular Interventions , The Scripps Heart, Lung, and Vascular Center
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  • Russ
Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize
Go To Award

Richard Schatz is research director of cardiovascular interventions at the Scripps Heart, Lung, and Vascular Center and director of gene and stem cell therapy. He is a recognized international expert in interventional cardiology and has published and lectured extensively. His seminal work in coronary stents spurred a revolution in the treatment of coronary artery disease—over 2 million of them are placed annually worldwide, with an immeasurable impact on relieving mortality and morbidity, improving patients’ lives, and reducing healthcare costs.  

Dr. Schatz served his internship and residency at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, forward by a fellowship at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, where he was, successively, director of the Cardiovascular Technologist School, Cardiology Clinic, Coronary Angioplasty, and Cardiac Catheterization Labs, before becoming assistant chief and then acting chief of cardiology.

He was also a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, where he collaborated with Dr. Julio Palmaz to develop a novel approach to angioplasty, pioneering the field of vascular stents. In 1988 they received FDA approval to proceed with the first US protocol to study stents in the coronary circulation and in 1994 the FDA approved the Palmaz-Schatz stent, the first stent to reduce restenosis, heralding a new era in the treatment of coronary disease. With nearly 100 million patients treated worldwide the Palmaz-Schatz Stent is one of the top 10 medical device patents of the last 50 years.

His collaboration with the late Jeffrey Isner in angiogenesis, gene transfer, and stem cell therapy launched a new approach to relieving angina in patients with atherosclerosis and improving heart function after heart attacks.

Dr. Schatz has been honored with both the distinguished alumnus award and the Lifetime Scholar Award by Duke University Medical Center, and he is a distinguished fellow of the Hong Kong Cardiology Society as well as an elected fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

He attended the State University of New York at Buffalo and earned his MD from Duke Medical School, where his honors included the Davison Scholarship Award and Lange Medical Publication Award. He also studied at the Thorax center in Rotterdam and at Oxford University.

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  • Russ
  • 2019
  • For innovations in medical devices that enable minimally invasive angioplasty treatment of advanced coronary artery disease.