OHSU's Rösch to Receive American Heart Association Honor

11/08/04    Portland, Ore.

Josef Rösch, M.D., an interventional radiologist and Czech Republic native recruited to Oregon Health & Science University in 1967 by angioplasty pioneer Charles Dotter, is receiving a prestigious American Heart Association honor.

Rösch, professor of diagnostic radiology and director of research at the Dotter Interventional Institute, OHSU School of Medicine, has been named a Distinguished Scientist by the Dallas-based nonprofit health organization. The recognition was announced Sunday at its annual Scientific Sessions conference in New Orleans.

According to a letter from the association's president, Alice Jacobs, M.D., and the chairman of its Council Operations Committee, Roberto Bolli, M.D., the title recognizes Rösch's "seminal research work that has importantly advanced our understanding and management of cardiovascular disease or stroke."

The AHA said novelty, significance and impact of Rösch's research, as well as his stature in the field, were among the criteria used by the selection committee in determining his qualification for the honor.

"As one of our Distinguished Scientists, the AHA looks to you for advice and leadership in its scientific activities," the organization said. It added that Rösch will be invited to participate in the AHA's early career development programs, present lectures at scientific sessions and conferences, and serve as an expert consultant in "various matters pertaining to the scientific mission of the Association."

Rösch's research work has covered a wide range of vascular and interventional radiology, including development of the TIPS (transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt) technique, and introduction of embolization treatment of gastrointestinal hemorrhage. He has published more than 450 scientific papers and book chapters, two books, and 14 teaching films, videos and CDs.

"The motto of my work is if you want to learn something, write a paper about it; if you want to know everything, write a book," Rösch said, laughing. "It's been interesting."

Rösch has earned numerous accolades in his career. He has received gold medals from the Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology, the European Congress of Radiology and the European Association of Radiology, the Japanese Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology, and the Western Angiographic and Interventional Society.

He has been honored in the past by the American Heart Association, whose scientific council gave him the Distinguished Achievement Award in 1999.

In 2003, lectures at annual meetings of the Cardiovascular & Interventional Society of Europe and the Interventional Radiology Society of Czech Republic were established in Rösch's name. An endowed research professorship also was established his name at the Dotter Institute.

Rösch has been professor of diagnostic radiology (interventional radiology) at OHSU since 1970 and served as the Dotter Institute's director between 1990 and 1993. Since 1993, he has been Dotter's director of research.

He earned his medical degree from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic in 1950.

Rösch says his work with Charles Dotter, M.D., who performed the world's first percutaneous transluminal angioplasty at OHSU on Jan. 16, 1964, inspired him to become an interventional radiologist, a discipline he'll continue to follow "as long as I'm able to do it, physically and mentally."

"I don't smoke. I don't drink. I cannot afford it now because it would cloud my mind," Rösch, 79, says from his office on the OHSU campus.

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