2019 Lifetime Achievement Award : Gérald Simmoneau

Awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution in the field of PH throughout his/her lifetime.

I am delighted to present my old friend and colleague, Gérald, with this prestigious PVRI award. He is one of the most eminent leaders in the field. To list all of his many different awards and achievements would fill the entire evening. He is not only a force in the science field, but also one on the football pitch! With my most sincere congratulations.
Werner Seeger PVRI President 2020/21
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Werner Seeger presents Gérald Simmoneau with the Lifetime Achievement Award.


Professor Gerald Simonneau is today Emeritus Professor at the Paris-Sud University, France, and Senior Consultant at the National Reference Centre for Pulmonary Vascular Disease in Bicetre and Marie Lannelongue University Hospitals, France. He has published widely in the fields of pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary vascular diseases and pneumology, in peer-reviewed Journals including New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Circulation. He has been President of the working group on pulmonary circulation of the European Society of Cardiology and has received the PAH research award of the European Respiratory Society in 2011. Lastly, he was named among the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds in the field of Clinical Medicine (Thomson Reuters) in 2014 and 2015 and 2016.



Certificate of Recognition : Gabriel Diaz & Colleagues

Awarded to a PVRI member of their outstanding contribution in advancing the PVRI mission

I am so honoured and speechless. I am accepting this award on behalf of all my colleagues in Latin America and I would like to invite you all to our next Latin-American Symposium on PH in Children in 2022. Your support is so valuable and this award is very much appreciated. I am proud to be part of the PVRI family.
Gabriel Diaz Professor Universidad Nacional de Colombia
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Paul Hassoun presents Gabriel Diaz with the Certifcate of Recognition.

Dr Diaz is an esteemed member of the PVRI with a long history. He has been involved with the PVRI since its beginning in 2007 as an active member of the PVRI Paediatric Task Force. He is the founder and main organiser of the very successful bi-annual Latin-American Symposium on Pulmonary Hypertension in Children, which held its first meeting in 2014. In March 2018, Dr Diaz was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Colombian Society of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Surgery for his contribution to the development of paediatric cardiology, including pulmonary hypertension in children in Colombia. Dr Diaz is also the main author of the Second Edition of the Textbook Cardiologia Pediatrica.



2019 President's Award : Paul Hassoun

Awarded to the PVRI Past President

My time as the PVRI President has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience. Receiving this award is bittersweet for me. Whilst I am honoured to receive it, I am sad to leave my presidency behind. However, Werner will make a wonderful President and I have no doubt that his leadership will steer the PVRI to even greater heights.
Paul Hassoun PVRI President 2018/19
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Paul Hassoun accepting the President's Award.

Dr Paul M Hassoun is a Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the USA. His areas of clinical expertise include pulmonary disease and critical care medicine. 

Dr Hassoun earned his MD from the Faculté de Médecine Lariboisière-Saint Louis (Paris VII, France) and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, both at Harvard Medical School, Boston MA.

Dr Hassoun serves as the Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Programme, a large clinical programme dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment, in a multidisciplinary fashion, of all five disease groups from the World Classification of PH.

Over the past two decades, Dr Hassoun has led programmatic efforts for clinical and basic research in PH. Dr Hassoun's research interests include pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) with a focus on highly translational research to understand the complex pathobiology of scleroderma-associated PAH, and acute lung injury. He is a member of numerous professional organisations, including the American Thoracic Society, the European Respiratory Society, and the American Heart Association.

Dr Hassoun served as PVRI President during 2018/19. 



2019 Rupert Swift Award : Emilia Swietlik

Sponsored by the Rupert Swift Family and awarded to a promising young scientist, who has not yet secured a permanent position as a Principal Investigator.

It is a great honour to receive this award. I was deeply moved by Rupert's story told by his brother and father last year at the PVRI Gala Dinner in Barcelona. I am forever grateful to the Swift family for their generosity. I would also like to thank all of my colleagues for creating an incredibly inspiring and collaborative working environment.
Emilia Swietlik Associate Researcher, University of Cambridge, UK
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Paul Corris presents Emilia Swietlik with the Rupert Swift Award.

Emilia Swietlik is an associate researcher in Professor Nick Morrell’s group at the University of Cambridge in the UK. The Morrell laboratory is studying the molecular mechanisms underlying pulmonary arterial hypertension. In particular our research is focussed on how mutations in the bone morphogenetic protein type II receptor (BMPR-II), a receptor member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, cause familial pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). In addition we are leading large national and international studies to identify novel genetic drivers of PAH (www.ipahcohort.com) and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.

Current research is revealing how BMPR-II mutation leads to dysfunctional signalling, gene transcription and vascular cell biology. This work has also revealed a broader role for BMPR-II in angiogenesis, inflammation, iron metabolism and innate immunity.

Conducted research has suggested new approaches to the rescue of BMPR-II deficiency. These include gene therapy, enhanced BMPR-II transcription and the demonstration that BMPR-II is rapidly degraded by the lysosome. Inhibition of the lysosomal turnover of BMPR-II with agents such as chloroquine increase cell surface BMPR-II and are effective in experimental models of pulmonary hypertension. Loss of BMPR-II is associated with increased activity of other important growth factor pathways including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) signalling. We have confirmed that inhibitors of these pathways are effective in experimental models of PAH. Recently, we discovered that bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9) can reverse and prevent pulmonary arterial hypertension in preclinical models by targeting the endothelial BMPR-II/ALK1 receptor complex, suggesting a promising new treatment for patients. This research has led to a university spin-out company, MORPHOGEN-IX (www.morphogen-ix.com), to take this new treatment into the clinic.


2019 Butrous Foundation Young Investigator Award : Thomas Koudstaal

Sponsored by the Butrous Foundation, the award provides $500 to a young investigator (under 35 yrs) for the best-judged abstract submission and an additional $500 to publish their research in Pulmonary Circulation, subject to the normal peer-review process. The Butrous Foundation is a private foundation established in 2006, which aims to motivate young people to pursue scientific careers by enhancing scientific creativity and communication skills. It also provides a platform for young people all over the world to participate in scientific advancements and to encourage them to express their ideas freely and creatively. 

I cannot express my gratitude enough for receiving the Butrous Award, it is a great stimulus for my scientific career. The PVRI Congress has been a wonderful opportunity to present my work and discuss it with other clinicians and scientists.
Thomas Koudstaal Erasmus MC, The Netherlands

Ghazwan Butrous presents Thomas Koudstaal with the Butrous Foundation Young Investigator Award.

Thomas Koudstaal obtained his M.D. at the Erasmus University Medical centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Currently, he is working as a pulmonologist in training and a PhD student at the department of pulmonary medicine at the Erasmus University Medical Center. His PhD research is focusing on the role of inflammation and immunity in the parthenogenesis of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

This research is both done in basic science and transnational scientific work. Currently, a large bio-banking cohort of pulmonary hypertension patients are being evaluated for inflammatory profiles in peripheral blood samples at diagnosis and after 1 year of pulmonary hypertension specific drug therapy. These data are being correlated to clinical parameters such as right heart catherization data, echocardiography and other functional tests. Hopefully, this research will lead to novel ways to monitor and predict disease progression, and to evaluate current therapeutic strategies. 



2020 Abstract Award Winners

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Malik Bisserier (left), winner of the Best Basic Abstract Award, and Martin Johnson, winner of the Best Clinical Abstract Award. 

The Barcelona Annual World Congress saw an unprecedented level of abstract submissions with 160 entries.

Travel Grants of $500 each were awarded to the best submissions, as judged by the Scientific Committee, prior to the Congress.

Some abstracts were selected for oral presentation with all being displayed as printed posters. Abstracts were grouped and presented during the moderated sessions and the following list of winners identified.

Many congratulations to all!


Travel Grant winners

Malik BisserierIcahn School Of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA

Thomas KoudstaalErasmus MC, The Netherlands

Tatiana KudryashovaUniversity of Pittsburgh, USA

Chanil ValasarajanMax Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Germany

Emilia SwietlikUniversity of Cambridge, UK

Narongsak NakwanHAT Yai Hospital, Thailand

Jingge QuPeking Union Medical College Hospital, China

Rodrigo Hoyos PaladinesCarlos Andrade Marin Hospital and De Los Valles Hospital, Ecuador

Mauricio Orozco-LeviFundacion Cardiovascular De Colombia, Hospital Internacional De Colombia, Columbia

Oral abstracts

Best Abstract – Clinical Science : Martin Johnson, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Glasgow, UK

Best Abstract – Basic Science : Malik Bisserier, Cardiovascular Research Center, Icahn School Of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA


Best Abstract Presenters:

Malik Bisserier, Cardiovascular Research Center, Icahn School Of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA

Claudia Fernandez Garcia on behalf of Mareike Gierhardt, Max-Planck Heart and Lung Laboratory, Argentina

Puja Kohli, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA

Mauricio Orzoco-Levi, Fundacion Cardiovascular De Colombia, Hospital Internacional De Colombia, Columbia

Rodrigo Hoyos Paladines, Carlos Andrade Marín Specialty Hospital, Ecuador

Maria Isabel Marquina Rodriquez, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en red de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Spain

Tsukasa Shimauchi, Quebec Heart and Lung Institute, Laval University, Canada

Emilia Swietlik, University of Cambridge, UK

Moderated printed posters

Rapid Fire Clinical Science Presenters:

Martin Johnson, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Glasgow, UK

Thomas Koudstaal, Erasmus MC, The Netherlands

Ting Ting Low, National University Heart Centre, Singapore

Seshika Ratwatte, Concord Repatriation and General Hospital, Australia

Christopher Rhodes, Imperial College London, UK

Jim White, University of Rochester Medical Center, USA


Rapid Fire Basic Science Presenters:

Lars Harbaum, Imperial College London, UK

Tatiana Kudryashova, University of Pittsburgh, USA

Junichi Omura, Quebec Heart and Lung Institute, Laval University, Canada

Jochen Steppan, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Chanil Valasarajan, Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Germany

Christine Veith, Universities of Giessen And Marburg Lung Center, Germany

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Through worldwide collaboration, we can begin to answer the question of a global disease.

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