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Navin C. Nanda, M.D has been awarded the 2006 Ellis Island Medal of Honor which is the most prestigious and highest civilian award one can receive in the United States, next to the Congressional Gold Medal. This award is sanctioned by the U.S. Congress (both the House of Representatives and the Senate) and the Awardees names are listed in the Congressional Record. Previous award recipients have included 6 Presidents of the United States of America (George Bush Sr., Jimmy Carter, William Clinton, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Ronald Regan) as well as other renowned personalities including Senators, Congressmen and Nobel Prize winners. The award recognizes outstanding Americans who have distinguished themselves by their outstanding contributions to the U.S.A.
Dr. Nanda is a nationally and internationally renowned cardiologist and echocardiographer. He is a world expert in echocardiography and his clinical and research accomplishments have contributed in a major way to echocardiography becoming today the most useful and cost effective noninvasive technique for the diagnosis of various cardiac diseases. He has done pioneering work in the field of echocardiography and his academic achievements are legendary. His group was the first to pioneer the use of post-treadmill exercise echocardiography to detect coronary artery disease in 1981. This technique is now widely used throughout the world. Dr. Nanda was also among the first to pioneer the use of the new innovative technique of color Doppler flow mapping and his Laboratory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1984 became the first facility in the USA to put this new equipment into clinical use. The color Doppler criteria developed by his group for the assessment of regurgitation of various cardiac valves are still used by cardiologists all over the world for managing their patients and deciding whether they will benefit from cardiac surgery. Dr. Nanda was also the first to develop an echocardiographic technique to assess pulmonary hypertension and recognize a congenital bicuspid valve. He was the first to use echocardiography extensively in the assessment of intracardiac catheters and pacemaker function. He has also done work on myocardial tissue characterization by two-dimensional echocardiography as well as in the utility of echo Doppler and color Doppler techniques in the evaluation of aortic aneurysms and dissection. His group was also the first to report on conventional Doppler and color Doppler evaluation of fetal hemodynamics. He has also done pioneering work on three-dimensional and four-dimensional echocardiography and more recently on transpharyngeal ultrasound to assess internal carotid artery stenosis.
Even as a senior resident in Bombay over 30 years ago, his pioneering work showed a high incidence of heart attacks in young Asian Indians under the age of 35 years even though their cholesterol and lipoprotein levels were normal. The 24th Bombay Medical Congress declared this work as the best scientific paper for the year 1966. Another study by him at that time showed a high prevalence of hyperglycemia in heart attack victims and its relation to diabetes mellitus in Indians. This work, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, was highly acclaimed by the editor of the same Journal as an important contribution and as the first thorough study of an Asiatic population. These represented some of the earliest high quality scientific studies done in India dealing with coronary artery disease. More recently, Dr. Nanda organized the first ever large scale survey of Asian Indians settled in the USA for the prevalence of various diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and coronary heart disease and found the prevalence of these diseases much higher than in other USA ethnic groups and higher than in Indians living in India. Dr. Nanda helped found the ethnic American Association of Cardiologists of Indian Origin and became its first and founding President in 1986. Dr. Nanda was also elected President of the prestigious American Association of Physicians from India and was the recipient of its very first "Most Distinguished Service Award". He was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc. for a period of two 3 year consecutive terms and was presented The Bridge Award for "building bridges across cultures, particularly among African American and Indian cardiologists".
Dr. Nanda has received numerous accolades from several countries throughout the world for his pioneering work in the field of echocardiography including China, Brazil, Italy, Uruguay, Columbia, the United Arab Emirates and India where among numerous recognitions the Cardiological Society of India instituted the Navin C. Nanda Young Investigator Award at their Annual Conference in December 2005 to be given to a young cardiologist with the best scientific research presentation. This is the first time in the 58 year history of this Society that an award has been instituted in any physicians name.