the torch Summer 2016, Issue 2 - Page 23

ph ysici a n profile MILTON PACKER, M.D. Milton Packer, M.D., recently joined Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas as the new distinguished scholar in cardiovascular science. Over his 40-year career, Dr. Packer has served as an investigator for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration in heart failure, cardiovascular research and drug developments. Those efforts have led to significant recognition and accolades. Formerly, he was the chair of the Clinical Sciences Department at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Packer works hard, but he suggests that this is just a part of his successful career. “Success is far more than working hard. There are many people who work hard, and it’s certainly one very important ingredient to success, but by no means the most important,” said Dr. Packer. “For me, the most important thing was being able to think differently. I was told heart failure was a certain type of disease, and it was totally wrong. It’s important to raise doubts about the assumptions you carry for what represents truth and fiction – to step back and question and test these assumptions, and to show there’s another way of putting together the answers. I think being a skeptic is crucial for scientific success.” Dr. Packer’s skepticism and decades of research have established the cornerstone of the current “Baylor does a wonderful job of taking care of patients. The opportunity to combine that quality with my research objectives was very unique and appealing.” DR. MILTON PACKER treatments for heart failure. For this, he was named the recipient of the Lewis Katz lifetime achievement award in cardiovascular research. He is also widely recognized for his outstanding leadership abilities. He led the Division of Circulatory Physiology at Columbia University for 12 years and built the nation’s most outstanding research group devoted to heart failure. In addition, he has been the principal investigator for more than 15 large international, multicenter trials. What drove your decision to join Baylor? The two institutions with which I worked in New York made an intensive effort to combine patient care and research. That focus and concentration was extremely gratifying. When my wife joined UT Southwestern, I changed hats from what I had been doing, and agreed to run a department devoted to clinical research. I gave up my identity as a cardiologist. Baylor does a wonderful job at taking care of patients. The opportunity to combine that quality with my resea ؚX]\\\H[\]YH[\X[[ˈY\ LYX\]\H][ܘBZ[YHZ[X\ ‚