Thomas H. Schindler, MD, PhD, an associate professor of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis’ Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, has received the prestigious Hermann Blumgart Award for Cardiovascular Imaging from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. The award honors researchers who have made noteworthy contributions to the field of cardiovascular nuclear medicine.
Schindler uses imaging techniques to evaluate the function of the blood vessels that supply the heart to find early signs of blockage. Identifying problems with the heart’s blood supply early offers the hope that people at risk of coronary artery disease can be identified and offered treatment before a heart attack strikes. He also is studying whether fat tissue releases compounds that increase the risk that heart vessels will become blocked. His work indicates a specific protein is present at high levels in heart tissue of obese people, which may contribute to the development of heart failure in this population.
He also studies the effect of sarcoidosis – an inflammatory disease characterized by fever and fatigue – on the heart. He has found that sarcoidosis can cause inflammation of the heart muscle and abnormal circulation in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Identifying such damaging effects early could lead to ways to prevent the life-threatening effects of the disease.