2016 Award Winners

The Heart Rhythm Society is proud to recognize these exemplary individuals for their unique contributions.

Recognition Award Winners


Distinguished Scientist Award
  • Stuart J. Connolly, MD
    Stuart J. Connolly

    Originally from Montreal, Canada, Stuart J. Connolly, MD completed his arrhythmia training at Stanford University, and then joined the faculty at McMaster University, where he is a senior scientist at the Population Health Research Institute. Dr. Connolly’s impact on the management of heart rhythm disorders is broad and profound, and he has authored 32 papers in the New England Journal, Lancet and JAMA.  He is perhaps best known for his work to prevent stroke due to atrial fibrillation, including: CAFA, an early warfarin trial; the three ACTIVE trials, which evaluated anti-platelet and anti-hypertensive therapy; and then establishing the role of NOACs with his leadership of the RE-LY and AVERROES trials. 

    Dr. Connolly’s work also includes seminal trials in the field of cardiac devices, including: CTOPP, which compared ventricular against atrial-based pacing; the CIDS trial, the second trial of the ICD in secondary prevention; DINAMIT, which evaluated the role of the ICD following myocardial infarction; the VPS trials, which studied pacing for vasovagal syncope; the ASSERT trial, which demonstrated the link between sub-clinical AF and stroke; and the SIMPLE trial, which evaluated the role of defibrillation testing.

    Finally, Dr. Connolly’s work in the field of anti-arrhythmic drug therapy is also extensive; starting with the CAMIAT trial, which evaluated amiodarone following myocardial infarction; OPITC, which evaluated the role of anti-arrhythmic drugs in ICD patients; and the dronaderone trials, including ATHENA and PALLAS. 

    Dr. Connolly’s body of work is integral to clinical practice for virtually every member of the Heart Rhythm Society. His research impact continues to grow, not only through his ongoing trials, but through his mentoring and tireless support of fellow researchers across the world.

    Submitted by Jeffrey S. Healey, MD, FHRS


Distinguished Service Award
  • Nora Goldschlager, MD, FHRS
    Leonora Fox Golschlager

    Leonora Fox Golschlager, MD, FHRS was one of the founding members of NASPE in 1980. As a member of NASPE, later renamed the Heart Rhythm Society, “Nora” has served on nearly every committee offered by the Society over the past 35 years,  including the Executive Committee, Program Committee, Publications Committee, Education Committee, and Presidents Council. She was been a member of the NASPE Board of Trustees from 1992-1998 and has been the book review editor for PACE since 1992.

    Nora is well known for her direct approach – she always “tells it like it is.” Although she projects an outspoken “New York” posture, she has a soft and caring side for both her patients and colleagues. She trained before invasive cardiac electrophysiology was a specialty, yet her knowledge of electrocardiography and electrophysiology are unparalleled. She works tirelessly to teach the next generation of cardiologists and electrophysiologists and has won multiple teaching awards from the fellows at UCSF.  Her monthly sessions reviewing device tracings is always a “must attend” for our electrophysiology fellows. It is well known at SFGH that Nora is the “go-to” person for any patient with a challenging arrhythmia or ECG. Yet, this award is mainly for her service to HRS.

    There are some who work to advocate for themselves, and others who work behind the scenes to advocate for others. Nora is one of those people who work tirelessly on behalf of others.  Her contributions since the Heart Rhythm Society’s inception have been numerous and occurred despite an extremely busy clinical and teaching schedule. Nora is an amazingly productive person, a passionate and patient teacher and a great team player. We are indebted to her contributions to HRS as well as all her contributions here at UCSF.

    Submitted by Edward P. Gerstenfeld, MD, FHRS


Distinguished Teacher Award
  • Gerald V. Naccarelli, MD, FHRS
    Gerald Naccarelli

    Internationally recognized for his clinical, teaching and research contributions, Gerald V. Naccarelli, MD, FHRS is the 2016 recipient of the HRS Distinguished Teacher Award.  Currently serving as the Bernard Trabin Chair in Cardiology, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Cardiology at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine/Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, he has personally mentored 32 fellows in cardiac electrophysiology and dozens of general cardiology fellows. 

    A Philadelphia native, Dr. Naccarelli received his MD from the Penn State University College of Medicine in Hershey. He trained in cardiology at Penn State and in EP at the Indiana University School of Medicine. 

    Dr. Naccarelli joined NASPE/HRS in 1981 and served as the Society’s President from 1999 – 2000.  He chaired the inaugural NASPE EP Board Review Course in Houston and was Editor-in-Chief of EPSAP I and II.  He has participated on the program committees of HRS, ACC, AHA and Cardiostim and chaired the NASPE Annual Scientific Sessions in 1998.  In 2013, HRS honored him with the Distinguished Service Award.

    He has been instrumental in developing EP–related training standards and chaired the COCATS Task Force 6.  As a mark of the regard in which he is held in the field, he was named to the ABIM Subspecialty Board on Cardiovascular Disease and chaired the Cardiovascular Diseases SEP Committee (2006 – 2015). 

    Dr. Naccarelli is widely recognized as a master teacher. With his outgoing demeanor and colorful expression, he has a talent for crystallizing complex concepts into memorable teaching moments.  He specializes in making arrhythmias and arrhythmia care an accessible topic for non-electrophysiologists. For that, he has earned the admiration and loyalty of innumerable trainees throughout his academic career.

    Submitted by Anne H. Dougherty, MD, FHRS


Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology Award
  • Richard Sutton, DSc, FHRS
    Richard Sutton

    Richard Sutton, DSc, FHRS is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Cardiology, Imperial College, London, and founding editor of the journal Europace. Richard has been a Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) member since the earliest years of NASPE, and an HRS Fellow since 2006. His CV lists more than 220 peer-reviewed publications, numerous invited book chapters and reviews, and 7 patents.

    For over 40 years, Professor Sutton has made major contributions to the advancement of cardiac pacing.  By way of example, his seminal work on carotid sinus syndrome remains the basis for its evaluation and pacemaker treatment today.  Richard was also an early energetic proponent of sensor-based rate-adaptive pacing, not only in terms of paving the way clinically but also in the development and study of novel sensor systems and operating algorithms.  In another domain, Professor Sutton has been instrumental in advancing the care of patients with syncope and collapse.  He is the acknowledged innovator of head-up tilt-table testing; his ‘Westminister Protocol’ provided the foundation for current tilt-table testing.  However, Richard did not stop with tilt-testing as a diagnostic tool, but used it to enhance our understanding of the pathophysiology and appropriate treatment of reflex faints.

    Professor Sutton is widely recognized for his leadership in professional education. He played a key role in initiating the European Society of Cardiology syncope practice guidelines and in driving to fruition multiple clinical trials examining optimal therapy of syncope patients (e.g., VASIS, UKPACE, the ISSUE studies).  Additionally, for many years Richard was responsible for the training of Cardiovascular Fellows in a large part of London (UK). Due to his efforts, the numbers of trainee positions increased substantially; many of his trainees are now the new leaders of cardiovascular medicine in the UK and throughout Europe.  Finally, despite having seemingly ‘retired’, Professor Sutton remains active throughout the world as an educator, and continues to collaborate with many investigators on unresolved scientific issues.

    Submitted by David G. Benditt, MD, FHRS, CCDS


The Nancy L. Stephenson Award for Exemplary Industry/HRS Partnership
  • Paul A. Levine, MD, CCDS
    Paul A. Levine

    Paul A. Levine, MD, CCDS was a much respected and loved member of the Society. In 2007, he was became a Heart Rhythm Society Fellow and was honored as the HRS Distinguished Teacher of the Year.

    Dr. Levine was born in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine in 1968 and completed his internship and first year of residency at the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center (Albert Einstein College of Medicine). After serving in the United States Navy as a general medical officer in the Republic of Vietnam and at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, he joined Georgetown University for his medical residency and first year of cardiology fellowship. Dr. Levine completed his cardiology training at his alma mater, Boston University, where he was invited to stay on as a faculty member.

    Dr. Levine was a board certified cardiologist who specialized in pacing and arrhythmias. He entered practice in 1976 as full-time academic staff of Boston University, where he directed the Pacing Program, the Electrophysiology Lab, and the ECG service, attaining the position of Associate Professor of Medicine. He published two text books, a number of monographs on various aspects of pacing, contributed multiple chapters to books on pacing, authored over one hundred peer-reviewed articles, and was an inventor or co-inventor on over 100 issued patents, all focused on implantable devices.

    After consulting to Pacesetter Systems, Inc. (now St. Jude Medical-Implantable (SJM) Electronic Systems Division) from 1977 to 1989, Dr. Levine became Vice President for Medical Services, a position he held until 2010. In addition, while in the full-time employment of SJM, he maintained an academic clinical practice with appointments as Clinical Professor of Medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. In these capacities, he continued to see patients, participate in clinical research, and contribute to medical literature. A recognized and respected expert, Dr. Levine was invited to lecture all over the world. Indeed, Dr. Levine's contribution to cardiac pacing has been vast, and on average, two parts in every pacemaker used today were designed by him.

    By virtue of his expertise, compassion, generosity, commitment to his patients and to teaching colleagues and the next generation of cardiologists and medical professionals, Dr. Levine had a huge positive and material impact on his patients' health and well-being, that of device patients worldwide, and in advancing the science and technology of device therapy. 

    The Society and the field will miss him.


Lectureship Award Winners


Douglas P. Zipes Lectureship Award
  • Charles Antzelevitch, PhD, FHRS
    Charles Antzelevitch, PhD, FHRS

    Charles Antzelevitch, PhD, FHRS is Professor and Executive Director of Cardiovascular Research at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) and Director Research at the Lankenau Heart Institute in Wynnewood, PA. He also holds an academic appointment as Professor of Pharmacology at the Upstate Medical University and is the former Gordon K. Moe Scholar.  Recent awards and honors include the Distinguished Scientist Award from the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology (currently the Heart Rhythm Society), Excellence in Cardiovascular Science Award of the American Heart Association, Carl J. Wiggers Award of the American Physiological Society, the Distinguished Scientist Award of the American College of Cardiology and the Distinguished Service Award of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society. He has served on many committees of the Heart Rhythm Society including the Board of Trustees. His contributions to the scientific literature include over 490 original papers, reviews and book chapters, and six books.  He is currently Associate Editor of the HeartRhythm journal and Secretary-Treasurer of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society.

Eric N. Prystowsky Lectureship Award (New for 2016)
  • William G. Stevenson, MD, FHRS
    William G Stevenson, MD

    William G. Stevenson, MD is the Director of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr Stevenson received his MD from Tulane University in Louisiana, completed Medicine and Cardiology training at UCLA Center for the Health Sciences and further training in clinical electrophysiology in Maastricht at the University of Limberg, following which he joined the faculty at UCLA Center for Health Sciences. He moved to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in 1993. His clinical and research efforts focus on the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and prevention of sudden death. His methods of defining reentry circuits and ablation targets using cardiac pacing for entrainment mapping have been widely adopted.  He has published over 300 articles and chapters. He has provided training to over 60 post-doctoral fellows in cardiac electrophysiology and has reached countless medical students, residents, fellows and practicing physicians through teaching at the bedside, in the electrophysiology laboratory, and through lectures and publications. He is a recipient of the 2012 Michel Mirowski Award for Excellence in Clinical Cardiology and Electrophysiology and the 2015 Venice Arrhythmia Distinguished Teacher Award. He is past president of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society.  He is the founding editor of Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology of the American Heart Association.

Founders’ Lectureship Award
  • Warren M. Jackman, MD, FHRS
    Warren M. Jackman, MD, FHRS

    Warren M. Jackman, MD is George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Medicine and Co-Founder of the Heart Rhythm Institute (HRI) at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Florida (1976) and Internal Medicine Residency at Wake Forest University (1976 to1979).  He served a Fellowship in Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology at Indiana University School of Medicine from July 1979 through December 1981. Dr. Jackman joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma in January 1982.

    His first grant as a faculty member was the Young Investigator Award from the American Heart Association Oklahoma Affiliate in 1983, which started his work in developing techniques for recording accessory pathway activation potentials in patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.  He and his coworkers played a significant role in the development of RF ablation by using these novel recording techniques to localize multiple types of accessory pathways (typical accessory pathways, endocardial accessory pathways in Ebstein’s anomaly, epicardial posteroseptal pathways, epicardial anteroseptal pathways, and atriofascicular pathways), slow AV nodal pathways (identifying multiple variants of AVNRT), idiopathic LV tachycardia (Purkinje potentials) and Post-MI VT (mid-diastolic potentials).  In recognition of his research achievements Dr. Jackman was given the Provost's Research Award and the honorary title of George Lynn Cross Research Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1993.  In 1982 he won first prize in the Young Investigator Award Competition of the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology based on research performed in his Fellowship.  In 2000 he received the prestigious award of Pioneer in Pacing and Electrophysiology from the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology, the youngest person so honored in the history of the society, for his work in the development of catheter ablation techniques.  He was the recipient of the 2006 Mirowski Award.  He has been cited in Best Doctors in America continuously since 1992.

    Dr. Jackman has held active roles nationally in Heart Rhythm Society, including the Board of Trustees and Young Investigators Awards Committee. He has been a prominent international educator.  He was the first director of the course on Advanced Catheter Ablation of Cardiac Arrhythmias of the American College of Cardiology given at the Heart House in Bethesda, Maryland between 1993 and 1999.  He has been an instructor for the Advanced Course on Catheter Ablation of Cardiac Arrhythmias for the Heart Rhythm Society and then the Mayo Clinic, since they took responsibility for the course. He was Co-Director of an Advanced Course In Catheter Ablation of Cardiac Arrhythmias presented by HRI at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City from 1990 - 2007. He has lectured widely both nationally and internationally and has been an Investigator and Co-Investigator in grants from the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Oklahoma Health Research Program and the Whitaker Foundation as well as numerous grants from industrial sponsors for innovations in technology.


Abstract Award Winners


Eric N. Prystowsky Clinical Research Award

Dong-Hyeok Kim, MD


Eric N. Prystowsky Early Career Researcher Award

Varun Sundaram, MD


Fellow with the Highest-Scoring Abstract

Chuanyu Wei, PhD


Highest Scoring Abstract in the Category Allied Professional

Monica Pammer, PA


Young Investigator Awards


Basic Research Award

Worawan B. Limpitikul, BS

Clinical Research Award

Nicolas Johner, MD


Basic Research Honorable Mentions

Rachel M.A. ter Bekke, MD
Belinda Gray, MBBS, FRACP

Clinical Research Honorable Mentions

Takehiro Kimura, MD, PhD, FHRS
Imane El Hajjaji, MD


Joan and Douglas P. Zipes Publication of the Year Award

David D. McManus, MD, ScM, FHRS


HeartRhythm Journal Awards

Min Soo Cho, MD (Clinical Research)
Ludovic Gillet, PhD (Basic Research)


Heart Rhythm Travel Scholarships

Martin Aguilar, MD
Wouter Berger, MD
An Bui, MD
Celine Gallagher, RN, MS
Jacob Hantla, CRNA, CCDS, FHRS
Benjamin Helm, MS
Jeroen Hendriks, PhD
Yuxuan Hu, PhD
Sarah King, MS
Alejandra Leo-Macias, PhD
Jackson Liang, DO
Sarah McIntosh, MSc
Lindsay Meyers, MS
David Orenstein, CEPS
Matthew Thomas, MSc 


Research Fellowship Award Winners


Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Prevention Research Award

Heather Jameson, PhD

The Kenneth M. Rosen Fellowship in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology

Stefano Morotti, PhD

Clinical Research Award in Honor of Mark Josephson and Hein Wellens

Gregory S. Hoeker, PhD 

The Heart Rhythm Society Fellowship in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology

Francesca Santoro, PhD

The Heart Rhythm Society Fellowship in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology

Jerome Montnach, PhD


APHRS-HRS Immersion Program

Van Buu Dan Do, MD
Xiohan Fan, MD
Ryuske Kimura, MD
Raja Selvaraj, MD
Kuan Leong Yew, MD


Atrial Fibrillation Quality Improvement Innovation Grant

Mark H. Eckman, MD
Steven A. Lubitz, MD, MPH