Historic Timeline

The Mount Sinai Health System is one of the oldest medical and teaching institutions in the United States. Since our inception, we have been at the forefront of medicine. Our milestones in cardiology and cardiovascular research and care include:

1909--Used an electrocardiogram machine for the first time in the United States, Cardiologist Alfred E. Cohn became the first person in the United States to use an electrocardiogram machine.

1915--Established the first electrocardiographic (EKG) laboratory under the direction of Bernard S. Oppenheimer, MD. Dr. Oppenheimer later received an American Medical Association gold medal for an exhibit describing the EKG work first done at Mount Sinai.

1929--Developed the "Master Two-Step," the first successful standardized cardiac stress test, spearheaded by Arthur M. Master, MD, the Mount Sinai Hospital’s first Chief of Cardiology.

1949--Pioneered the use of direct current cardioversion for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, led by Charles Friedberg, MD. Dr. Friedberg also authored one of the first standard textbooks of cardiology, Diseases of the Heart.

1958--Simon Dack, MD, became the first editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology and developed it over 25 years into one of the world's most prestigious medical journals. In 1988, the journal became the official Journal of the American College of Cardiology, with Dr. Dack remaining as editor-in-chief.

1974--Richard Gorlin, MD, appointed as Chairman of the Samuel Bronfman Department of Medicine. Dr. Gorlin opened the era of surgical treatment of rheumatic heart disease by developing a formula to measure the severity of heart valve blockages.

1976--Developed the formula still used to measure the pumping function of the left ventricle noninvasively, led by Louis E. Teichholz, MD.

--Established our first echocardiography laboratory. 

1982--Proved the value of aspirin to prevent coronary bypass grafts from closing, under James H. Chesebro, MD, and Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, (then at the Mayo Clinic).

1983--Dr. Fuster became Chief of Cardiology. In addition to establishing the first integrated experimental laboratories for cardiovascular research at Mount Sinai, Dr. Fuster reorganized the clinical practices of the division and made the cardiology fellowship training program among the most sought-after in the nation. 

1984--Initiated use intra-operative transesophageal color-flow Doppler echocardiography to guide the hand of the cardiac surgeon in the operating room, allowing moment-to-moment decisions during heart valve repair and replacement, led by Martin E. Goldman, MD.

1985--John A. Ambrose, MD,FACC, then at Mount Sinai discovered the relationship between complex angiographic lesion morphology and acute coronary events, dramatically altering the way we select patients for angioplasty and bypass surgery.

1990--Established the Molecular and Cellular Cardiology laboratories.

--Jonathan L. Halperin, MD, led a multicenter team of cardiologists in the largest clinical trial of antithrombotic therapy for prevention of stroke in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, a common cardiac rhythm disturbance.

1991--Identified the proteins responsible for thrombosis and inflammation in the blood vessel wall that contribute to restenosis (re-narrowing of the vessel) following coronary angioplasty, spearheaded by Mark B. Taubman, MD, and colleagues.

1997--Reported the results of the largest clinical trial of heart attack survivors beyond hospital discharge, defining the best approach to preventing a second heart attack, stroke or death using clot-preventing medications, under Dr. Fuster.

2000--Reported the results of a pilot study for the black-blood magnetic resonance imaging, a non-invasive imaging technique that causes blood to appear dark while vessel walls appear bright, allowing cardiologists to identify thickening of the artery wall, an indication of otherwise undetectable vulnerable plaque, led by Zahi A. Fayad, PhD; Dr. Fuster,and colleagues. 

2002--Developed a Rapamycin-coated stent, a breakthrough in the prevention of restenosis following cardiac catheterization. The research was the result of several Mount Sinai investigators, including Michael Poon, MD, Juan J. Badimon, PhD, and Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD.

2003--Demonstrated the safety and efficacy of a new generation of anticoagulants in preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, led by under Dr. Halperin. The new treatment, xielagatran (ExantaR), is far less toxic than the traditional treatment, warfarin (CoumadinR), involves no interactions with other substances in the body, and obviates the need for frequent blood test monitoring and dosage adjustments.

2006--Samin K. Sharma, MD, Director of Interventional Cardiology and the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Professor of Cardiology, and Co-Director of the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, received the Governor's Award for Excellence for his outstanding achievements in the area of interventional cardiology in New York.

2009--David H. Adams, MD, Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Endowed Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Program Director of the Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center, won the American Heart Association's 2009 Achievement in Cardiovascular Science and Medicine Award.

2010--Published Carpentier’s Reconstructive Valve Surgery written by Dr. Adams, with Dr. Carpentier and Mount Sinai Fuster Heart Hospital colleague Farzan Filsoufi, MD, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery. The volume has become the standard surgical text on valve reconstruction

--Performed the first-ever CoreValve transcatheter aortic valve implementation procedure in December.