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Steven Nissen, MD, is the Chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. He was appointed to this position in 2006 after serving nine years as Vice Chairman of the Department of Cardiology and five years as Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Cardiovascular Coordinating Center (C5), an organization that directs multicenter clinical trials.
Dr. Nissen’s research during the last two decades has focused on the application of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging to study the progression and regression of coronary atherosclerosis. He has served as International Principal Investigator for several large IVUS multicenter atherosclerosis trials.
Specialty/Clinical interests: General cardiology, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), diabetes and the heart, drug safety, coronary intensive care
Experience: Dr. Nissen has more than 35 years of experience as a physician. He is world-renowned for his work as a cardiologist, patient advocate and researcher. Equally as significant is his pioneering work in IVUS technology and its use in patients with atherosclerosis.
Publications and Speaking: Dr. Nissen has written more than 350 journal articles and 60 book chapters, including many published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. In recent years, he has also written on the subject of drug safety and was the author of manuscripts highlighting concerns about medications such as Vioxx™, Avandia™, and muraglitazar.
He has testified in both the Senate and the House of Representatives on the topic of drug safety as well as the need to reform the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As a physician/scientist, Dr. Nissen is often called on by pharmaceutical companies to consult on the development of new therapies for cardiovascular disease. He maintains a long-standing personal policy that requires these companies to donate all related honoraria directly to charity.
Dr. Nissen is currently the editor of Current Cardiology Report. In 2007, he was listed as Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World – Scientists and Thinkers."
He is heavily involved with the American College of Cardiology (ACC), serving as President from March 2006 to March 2007, a member of the ACC Executive Committee from 2004 to 2008, and spending 10 years as a member of the organization’s Board of Trustees. In addition, Dr. Nissen has served several terms on the Program Committee for the ACC Annual Scientific Sessions.
Dr. Nissen served as a member of the CardioRenal Advisory Panel of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for five years, and as chair of the final year of his membership. He continues to serve as a periodic advisor to several FDA committees as a Special Government Employee.
Dr. Nissen frequently lectures at national and international meetings. He has served as visiting professor, or provided Grand Rounds, at nearly 100 institutions.
About Dr. Nissen: “I am fiercely independent and don't accept compensation from industry for consulting or speaking.”
Leisure time activities: In his leisure time, Dr. Nissen likes to bicycle whenever possible. He is also an advanced amateur photographer.
General cardiology, heart disease, intravascular ultrasound, digital angiography and computer image processing, coronary intensive care
- American College of Cardiology
- Association of Professors of Cardiology
- American University of Physicians
- AHA Council on Cardiovascular Radiology (Elected Fellow 1991)
- AHA Council on Clinical Cardiology
Recent National Committees and Positions
- 2013 Harvard Multi-Regional Clinical Trial Center Working Group, Harvard University and Global Institute of Health, Cambridge, ME
- 2013 Writing Committee Cardiovascular Endpoints in Clinical Trials, American College of Cardiology
- 2010 - Present, Standardized Data Collection for Cardiovascular Trials, FDA
- 2010 Steering Committee Member, Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), Translational Institute, Duke University
- 2010 – Present, Editorial Board Seat, Prescribers Letter, Therapeutic Research Center
- 2010 Advisor, Prevention Magazine, Rodale Publishing
- 2002 – 2014 Senior Consulting Editor to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
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To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. The Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, the Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.
As of 5/21/2015, Dr. Nissen has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by the Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about the Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.
Charity. Dr. Nissen has consulted for the following companies but instructed them to donate all compensation directly to one or more non-profit organizations:
Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias. * Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.