Before there was a SCVP
Interest in the pathologic anatomy of the heart and cardiovascular system dates back 100’s of years. Many of those engaged in activities we would now consider “cardiovascular pathology” were not formally trained and often worked in isolation, sometimes within cardiology or cardiovascular surgery departments. Several developments during and following the mid-19th century fueled the development of the specialty and its contributions to (1) understanding the mechanisms or atherosclerosis and its complications, (2) the emergence of cardiovascular surgery as well as development and translation of interventional diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and devices, (3) understanding the impact of genetic abnormalities in cardiovascular disease, and (4) the proliferation of cardiac transplant programs with the need for expert interpretation of myocardial biopsies and other transplant-related pathology and their importance in effectively managing transplant patients. Many individuals working in cardiovascular pathology were aware of others with similar interests but no formal mechanism for sharing information – and comradery – existed until the existence of the SCVP.
Founding of the SCVP
The Society for Cardiovascular Pathology (SCVP) was founded in Toronto on March 12, 1985 when 31 individuals with an interest in the topic laid the groundwork for establishing a professional organization and community. The goals of this organization were (and continue to be) to:
- Enhance identification of the specialty
- Facilitate communication among cardiovascular pathologists
- Connect cardiovascular pathologists with related subspecialists
- Foster collaborative investigations and mutual education
The initial steering committee consisted of:
- Sherman Bloom, Chairman
- Avrum Gotlieb, Secretary
- Frederick Schoen, Treasurer and Membership
- Stephen Factor, Constitution and Bylaws
- Colin Bloor
- William Edwards
Dues were $25.00.
Growth of the SCVP
As the fledgling society became more organized, it began to reach out to other organizations for recognition and the possibility of collaboration in their scientific meeting programs. Although the Society held symposia in Washington, D.C. in 1985 (The Diagnosis of Myocarditis by Endomyocardial Biopsy) and New Orleans in 1986 (The Post-Surgical Heart), it’s first “official” recognition and durable association was by the IAP/USCAP with the first Companion Meeting occurring on March 8, 1987 at The Palmer House in Chicago:
“The Interpretation of Endomyocardial Biopsies”
Moderator: Nelson Niles
Speakers: Norm Ratliff, Bruce McManus, Hugh McAllister, Eckhardt Olsen, Victor Ferrans, and John Fallon
By recognizing cardiovascular pathology along with its other subspecialty groups, the USCAP became the ideal home for SCVP meetings. It provided a format for cardiovascular pathologists to share ideas among themselves and with pathologists in other specialties as well as teach cardiovascular pathology to colleagues and trainees. Many cardiovascular pathologists also had interests in other areas of pathology and regularly attended the USCAP meetings.
Soon to follow was the first IAP/USCAP Evening Special Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 1988. While not an “official” Society function, the Specialty Conference speakers have largely consisted of Society members.
Moderator: John Fallon
Panelists: Margaret Billingham, Frederick Schoen, William Edwards, Bruce McManus
To facilitate communication between SCVP members, a newsletter, “CorNotes”, was established and the first issue published in October 1986. The newsletter contained brief scientific articles, information of interest to SCVP members (meetings, etc.), editorials, and various forms of informal communication (difficult cases, job ads, cardiovascular cartoons!).
Bruce McManus 1986 – 1990
Gayle Winters 1990 – 1993
Ralph Hruban 1993 – 1995
Alain Borszak 1995 – 2001
Jim Atkinson 2001 – incorporation of information into the journal and website
SCVP creates a new journal
Unrelated to SCVP, the American Journal of Cardiovascular Pathology under the editorship of Colin Bloor was published from 1986 – 1992. This journal, though not successful in itself, ignited a real desire to have a journal sponsored by the SCVP. In October, 1990, SCVP President Jay Fallon signed a contract with Elsevier for the Society journal, Cardiovascular Pathology, first published in January-March 1992. The journal has achieved great success, largely due to the outstanding efforts of its editors in publishing timely scientific articles as well as important position papers in cardiovascular pathology diagnoses.
Steve Factor 1992 – 2001
Avrum Gotlieb and Jagdish Butany 2002-2011
Max Buja 2012 – Present
The SCVP website, https://scvp.net, was started in 1999.
John Veinot 1999 – 2012
Marc Halushka 2012 – Present
Educational activities of SCVP
Since its inception, SCVP has sponsored numerous educational sessions and workshops, some in collaboration with other organizations including the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, American Society for Investigative Pathology, International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology, and Society for Biomaterials. One of the longest standing and most fruitful collaborations has been with the Association for European Cardiovascular Pathology (AECVP), largely brought about by the efforts of Gaetano Thiene.
As with all rapidly evolving disciplines, the future of cardiovascular pathology and the SCVP lies with its young members. To recognize the work of trainees, the Young Investigator Award was first presented in 1989 to Kandice Kottke-Marchant.
The annual SCVP Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes leadership in the field of cardiovascular pathology and is presented at the annual SCVP Award Banquet, the Sunday night of the USCAP meeting. Recipients are invited to give a lecture during the Sunday morning SCVP Companion Meeting and receive their award, preceded by a “gentle” roast, at the banquet. The first awardees in 1987 were icons in the field of cardiovascular pathology, Drs. Jesse Edwards, Reginald Hudson, Maurice Lev and Robert Wissler.
The Future of SCVP
Although small in comparison to other pathology subspecialties, SCVP has grown significantly since the early days and has met with great success in establishing cardiovascular pathology as an important specialty in furthering clinical and research knowledge with collaboration and collegiality among its members. Looking forward, SCVP members and cardiovascular pathology more broadly are well positioned to identify and clarify the genetic basis for cardiovascular diseases, define biomarkers for early and precision diagnosis, and play an important role in the development, use and evolution of cardiovascular therapies and devices.
My thanks to Dr. Fred Schoen for his review and for providing insight into the “early days” of the Society.
Gayle L. Winters, MD
1986 – Sherman Bloom
1987 – L. Maximilian Buja
1988 – Stephen M. Factor
1989-90 – John T. Fallon
1991-92 – Bruce M. McManus
1993-94 – Margaret E. Billingham
1995-96 – Jack L. Titus
1997-98 – Avrum I. Gotlieb
1999-2000 – Frederick J. Schoen
2001-02 – Jeffrey Saffitz
2003-04 – Gaetano Thiene
2005-06 – Gayle L. Winters
2007-08 – Jagdish Butany
2009-10 – Michael C. Fishbein
2011-12 – John P. Veinot
2013-15 – Richard N. Mitchell
2015-17 – Barbara A. Sampson
2017-19 – Cristina Basso
2019-21 – James Stone
2021-23 – Marc Halushka
Retirements and Memorials
The Society for Cardiovascular Pathology is proud of the distinguished service of its members and many of them are honored on these pages.
Dr. William C. Roberts
Dr. Bill Roberts passed away at the age of 90 (1932-20203). He was the former editor of the American Journal of Cardiology and a longtime member of Baylor University Medical Center.
Dr. Shirley Siew
Dr. Shirley Siew, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine Professor, passed away on June 16th at the age of 97.
Dr. Jack Titus
Dr. Jack Titus, Professor of Pathology and former Director of the Jesse E. Edwards Cardiovascular Registry based away on June 15th after a long illness. Dr. Titus was a pillar of the cardiovascular pathology community and recipient of the 1993 SCVP Distinguished Award.
Dr. Grover M. Hutchins
Dr. Grover M. Hutchins, M.D., F.C.A.P. Professor of Pathology died April 27, 2010 while on vacation in Africa. He was a prolific author of publications covering all manner of cardiovascular and fetal diseases.
Memorial letter from Drs. G. W. Moore and R. Hruban
Dr. Margaret Billingham
Margaret Billingham, M.B., B.S., F.R.C.Path, Professor of Pathology, emerita, and Director of Cardiac Pathology at Stanford University, in Stanford, California died on July 14, 2009 after a brief struggle with cancer. She was a founding member of our Society and its president in 1993. She was awarded the Society of Cardiovascular Pathology Distinguished Achievement Award in 1991.
Memorial letter from Dr. G. Berry
Dr. Stella van Praagh
Dr. Stella van Praagh, world famous pediatric cardiologist, pathologist, and philosopher, died on June 3, 2006. The memorial letter below was written by her devoted husband Dr. Richard van Praagh. Drs. Stella and Richard van Praagh have an international reputation for their contributions to congenital heart disease pathology. Together, Drs. Stella and Richard van Praagh were recipients of the 1999 SCVP Distinquished Achievement Award.
Memorial letter from Dr. R. van Praagh
Dr. Lino Rossi
Dr. Lino Rossi died suddenly on August 11, 2004. As a pathologist and cardiologist, Dr. Rossi was known worldwide for his contributions in conduction system and cardiac intervention.
Memorial letter from Dr. G. Thiene
Dr. Michael J. Davies
Professor Michael J. Davies, M.D., F.R.C.Path, died on February 18, 2003. Dr. Davies was the founding father of the European Association for Cardiovascular Pathology and was recipient of the 1997 SCVP Distinguished Achievement Award.
Memorial letter from Dr. G. Thiene