The Heart Rhythm Society is proud to recognize these exemplary individuals for their unique contributions.
Recognition Award Winners
Distinguished Allied Professional
Julie B. Shea, MS, MSN, FHRS, CCDS
Julie B. Shea, MS, RNCS, FHRS, CCDS has a 37-year career as a registered nurse and advanced practice provider. She has worked as a staff nurse, research coordinator, clinical instructor and clinical nurse specialist. She is currently working as an Adult Nurse Practitioner for the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.
In addition to her clinical duties, she is a published author, including participation in original research and as co-author on Cardiology Patient Papers in Circulation.
Throughout her professional career, Julie has been an advocate for the allied professional community in heart rhythm care. She has advocated for competencies, education, certification, and a governance voice. She was a leader in the Society’s Council for Associated Professional Program Committee in the late 1990s.
She continued her involvement with HRS as a member of the Public Working Group Subcommittee, Web Oversight Subcommittee, Education Committee, and Scientific Sessions Program Committee. Other involvement includes the AP leadership, strategic planning summits and several task forces and working groups. With her extensive committee and volunteer work, she then served on the HRS Board of Trustees and on the Patient and Caregivers Committee as Board Liaison, with membership on the Governance and Nominations Committees to follow. She has been a passionate advocate for the allied professional membership and now serves as the Chair of the new Allied Professional Council.
Julie is a huge font of knowledge about the Society which has been obtained through the 20+ years of leadership in NASPE/HRS. She is always willing to mentor, share, guide and lead those of us who follow. She is passionate about electrophysiology, teaching her peers, creating new opportunities for the AP community within the Society, and taking care of her patients. Julie serves as a role model for all of us.
Natalia A. Trayanova, PhD, FHRS
Natalia A. Trayanova, PhD, FHRS is the Murray B. Sachs Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and a Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She directs the Alliance for Cardiovascular Diagnostic and Treatment Innovation, a research institute aimed at applying predictive data-driven approaches, computational modeling, and innovations in cardiac imaging to the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. She also directs the Computational Cardiology Laboratory.
Dr. Trayanova is a leader in the use of modern computation and modeling approaches in cardiac arrhythmia research and in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart rhythm disorders. Her basic science research has focused on understanding the pathological electrophysiological and electromechanical behavior of the heart, with emphasis on the mechanisms for cardiac arrhythmogenesis. In her translational work, through her first-of-their-kind personalized virtual hearts, she has pioneered advances in precision medicine for patients with rhythm disorders. Using an MRI-based simulation approach, Dr. Trayanova has developed new methods for stratifying patients for risk of sudden cardiac death and for improving the accuracy and success of atrial and ventricular ablation. She is currently conducting an FDA-approved clinical trial in simulation-driven treatment for cardiac arrhythmias.
Dr. Trayanova has published over 340 scientific papers, many of them in high-impact journals. Her work has received world-wide recognition, and she is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. For her groundbreaking work in computational cardiology, in 2013, she received the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the most prestigious recognition of innovation in NIH research. Dr. Trayanova is a Fellow of HRS, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, and a Fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering. Her work has been featured by a number of news outlets, including a TEDx talk.
Andrew L. Wit, PhD
Andrew L. Wit, PhD has devoted a lifetime to research on the fundamental electrophysiology underlying the genesis of arrhythmias and the education of students on these fundamentals that is necessary for advancement of clinical electrophysiology. He received his PhD at Columbia University, followed by training in the laboratory of Brian F. Hoffman MD, who introduced microelectrode recordings to the study of arrhythmias. He then was in the department of Anthony N. Damato, MD during the development of His bundle electrocardiography. Here he applied, for the first time, the method of programmed stimulation to the characterization of AV junctional conduction. Returning to Dr. Hoffman’s department, Dr. Wit published evidence that reentry was an important arrhythmogenic mechanism at a time when the concept was being questioned. His laboratory discovered catecholamine induced delayed after depolarizations in atrial tissue and linked them to the origin of atrial tachyarrhythmias. His most seminal work was the description of the anatomy and electrophysiology of arrhythmogenic border zones in healing and healed infarcts which has led to the focus on characterization of these regions to ablate ventricular tachycardia reentrant circuits.
These research accomplishments occurred in parallel to a devotion to teaching. At Columbia, he was director for 25 years of the medical courses of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. His own teaching was focused on mechanisms and therapy of cardiac arrhythmias. He was part of the group of mentors led by Dr. Hoffman who trained some of today’s most eminent clinical electrophysiologists in basic cardiac electrophysiology, providing them with the foundations on which their future contributions to the development of the field was built. Dr. Wit has also taught the basics of arrhythmia mechanisms in many post-doctoral courses, particularly with Drs. Mark Josephson and Hein Wellens in their course on How to Approach Complex Arrhythmias for EP fellows. They have recently published a text that was written to educate trainees on fundamental electrophysiology of arrhythmias.
Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology
Fred Morady, MD
Fred Morady, MD is Internationally recognized for his pioneering role in the development of catheter ablation for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. He currently serves on the electrophysiology faculty at the University of Michigan as a Professor of Medicine and the McCay Professor of Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Morady completed his training in electrophysiology under Melvin M. Scheinman, MD, FHRS in 1980. He then spent three years on the faculty at UCSF. For more than two decades he was Director of the EP Service and Clinical EP Laboratory at the University of Michigan. His CV lists 654 peer reviewed manuscripts, and more than 100 book chapters and review articles.
Dr. Morady played a pioneering role in the development of the field of clinical electrophysiology and in virtually all aspects of the development of the catheter ablation as a treatment strategy for cardiac arrhythmias. In particular, along with his mentor Dr. Scheinman, Dr. Morady pioneered DC shock ablation of the AV node and DC shock ablation for treatment of WPW syndrome and ventricular tachycardia (VT). He was also one of the very first in the world to adopt radiofrequency energy as a new and safer energy source for ablation of AVNRT, accessory pathways, and VT. Dr. Morady led the world in demonstrating that these procedures could be performed as part of routine clinical care by both demonstrating that a patient’s specific cause of PSVT would be diagnosed and cured in a single setting. Dr. Morady’s paper in the NEJM in 1991, titled Diagnosis and Cure of PSVT and the WPW Syndrome, transformed the approach to treatment of patients with PSVT. Dr. Morady continued to explore and perfect the use of RF ablation for treatment of all types of arrhythmias including VT, atrial tachycardia, and atrial flutter. He then became a powerful and unrelenting force in the development of catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation. He was an early proponent of a wide area circumferential approach to AF ablation and, with Dr. Pappone, wrote the first report of an atrial esophageal fistula in 2004.
In addition to his contributions to the field of catheter ablation, Dr. Morady made important contributions to most other areas of clinical electrophysiology, including defining the role of EP testing in evaluating patients with syncope, determining the electrophysiologic effects of antiarrhythmic medications, defining efficient protocols for programmed electrical stimulation, and investigating the impact of autonomic tone and mechanical load on electrophysiologic properties of the heart. He also defined how best to use the results of EP testing to define the mechanism of PSVT. In addition to playing a pioneering role in the field of electrophysiology, Dr. Morady trained a generation of electrophysiologists. He taught those lucky enough to train with him both the tools of the trade and the joy of being a clinical electrophysiologist.
HeartRhythm Outstanding Publication Awards for Young Electrophysiologists
Shouvik K. Haldar, MRCP, MD
Szilvia Kugler, MD
HRS Global Humanitarian Award in Memory of Dr. Ramasubba Lakireddy
Benedict S. Maniscalco, MD
The Nancy L. Stephenson Award for Exemplary Industry/HRS Community Partnership
Barbara Kay Veath