Ik-Kyung Jang, MD, PhD, was named the inaugural incumbent of the Michael and Kathryn Park Endowed Chair in Cardiology.

Ik-Kyung Jang, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, was honored as the inaugural incumbent of the Michael and Kathryn Park Endowed Chair in Cardiology during a celebration on May 25, 2016, at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation.

“This endowed chair is particularly meaningful to me, as I was recognized not by the scientific community, but by my patients.

Funded through the generosity of patients Michael and Kathryn Park, the chair will provide lasting resources to advance Mass General’s goals for research, care and education in cardiology. Dr. Jang said, “This endowed chair is particularly meaningful to me, as I was recognized not by the scientific community, but by my patients. To me, this is the biggest reward that a physician can ever have in their career.”

Endowed Chair and Innovation

Speaking about Dr. Jang and what the endowed chair will enable, Katrina Armstrong, MD, chief of the Department of Medicine, said, “It’s the commitment to innovation that I first saw with you, and it’s the commitment to innovation that makes me particularly excited about this chair.”

A veteran of Mass General for nearly three decades, Dr. Jang is an internationally renowned leader in cardiac Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). For more than 17 years, Dr. Jang has used OCT, an extremely high-resolution imaging modality, to detect vulnerable plaque in coronary arteries that are responsible for sudden death and heart attack. The MGH OCT program is the only of this kind in the world, following over 2,700 patients in 20 different sites across the globe for a three-year time period.

Anthony Rosenzweig, MD, chief of Cardiology, recounted memories of Dr. Jang as a fellow in 1987 and noted how he stood out: “At that time, he was a caring physician who could identify underlying mechanisms of acute coronary syndromes.” Dr. Rosenzweig added, “Dr. Jang has been a pioneer of bringing OCT from the bench to the bedside. His track record of mentoring is equally impressive.”

“You’re the constant role model for what an academic physician should be. You always place the patient’s wellbeing at the top of your list.”

A Constant Role Model

Dr. Jang has trained more than 20 fellows from all over the world, including Japan, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Italy, Spain, Singapore, Ireland and the United States. Under Dr. Jang’s leadership, his team has conducted more than 100 presentations over the last four years, including 83 abstracts for the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology — a record at Mass General. Dr. Jang has lectured at numerous national and international meetings and has published more than 300 papers in prestigious journals such as Circulation, the American College of Cardiology, European Heart Journal and Nature Cardiovascular Review.

Roman DeSanctis, honorary physician and director of Clinical Cardiology Emeritus, said, “You’re the constant role model for what an academic physician should be. You always place the patient’s wellbeing at the top of your list.”

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