Winner of the 2020 IFCC Distinguished Award for Contributions to Cardiovascular Diagnostics

Published: 27.05.2020

undefinedProf. Fred S. Apple (Hennepin Healthcare/Hennepin County Medical Center, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis MN, US) is the winner of the 2020 IFCC Distinguished Award for Contributions to Cardiovascular Diagnostics, sponsored by HyTest. This award honors an individual who has undertaken remarkable scientific work with cardiac markers or immunodiagnostic applications to improve cardiac disease diagnosis.

Prof. Apple will be formally announced as the award winner on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the Opening Ceremony of the 24th WorldLab - IFCC International Congress in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, which is scheduled to be held in Seoul (South Korea) from January 6 – 10, 2021.

Prof. Maurizio FERRARI, IFCC President and Chair IFCC Awards Committee, said: "We are delighted to select Prof. Fred S. Apple for the 2020 IFCC Distinguished Award for Contributions to Cardiovascular Diagnostics. He is undoubtedly one of the key individuals who has influenced and defined the field of cardiovascular laboratory medicine for nearly four decades and he has been instrumental in the development and implementation of diagnostic tests for myocardial infarction, heart failure, and other cardiovascular diseases. I really believe that Dr. Apple is a most worthy recipient of the 2020 IFCC Distinguished Award for Contributions to Cardiovascular Diagnostics.

We interviewed Prof. Fred S. Apple right after the announcement was made and you can read the interview below:

Q: What made you choose cardiac diseases as the topic of your research?
A: As a Fellow at Washington University, my interest in the effects of muscle injury while training for the St Louis Marathon in 1981, lead me down the path of studying CKMB in skeletal muscle as a tissue source for false positive indication of a heart attack; i.e. myocardial infarction.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
A: I have been lucky to have found an applied cardiac biomarker research interest that has allowed me to translate my lab’s findings into clinical practice, allowing for improved patient care. However, the colleagues I have met, become friends with, and shared science with from all over the globe has been most rewarding.

Q: Can you name one or two articles that you are especially proud of?
A: My first in the cardiac biomarker field addressing CKMB in skeletal muscle:
Apple FS, McGue M. Presence of creatine kinase MB isoenzyme during marathon training. New Engl J Med 1981; 305: 764-5
B. The first of several papers from our UTROPIA studies, demonstrating cardiac troponin as biomarker for ruling out myocardial injury.
Sandoval Y, Smith SW, Shah ASV, Anand A, Chapman AR, Love SA, Schulz K, Cao J, Mills NL, Apple FS. Rapid rule-out of acute myocardial injury using a single high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I measurement. Clin Chem 2017;63:369-76.

Q: When looking back, how has the diagnostics of cardiac diseases improved over the years? Has it been the result of major breakthrough discoveries or mainly as a result of small steps?
A: I feel the impact of 3 groups I have been fortunate to be part of: 1) the Global Task Force of the Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction, 2) the IFCC Task Force & Commitee of the Clinical Application of Cardiac Biomarkers, and 3) the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry Standards of Laboratory Practice/ AACC Academy, published guidelines that provided the framework for published observations improving the diagnosis and risk outcomes assessment in patients with symptomes suggestve of acute coroanry syndrome.

Q: What would you say are the main pain points in the current cardiac disease diagnostics?
A: While education is NOT a pain point, educating professionals in both the Laboratory Medicine and Cardiology fields to use new biomarkers and new strategies and how to globally and appropriately integrate cardiac biomarkers into clinical practice remains challenging.

Thank you Fred for an interview and once more congratulations!

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