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TCTAP Award 2019 "Best Young Scientist Award"

7th Winner | Dr. Jeehoon Kang

Here, it’s our pleasure to introduce this year’s award winner, Dr. Jeehoon Kang, who is a very talented and enthusiastic interventional cardiology at Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH).

He has a considerable interest in percutaneous intervention for structural heart disease and in critical care, as well as left ventricular (LV) assisting devices. He completed his internship and residency in the Department of Internal Medicine at Seoul National University, and since then, he had been a distinguished fellow in Cardiology until he joined as the faculty member of SNUH last year.

There are more than 23 brilliant papers that are firstauthored by the winner and published in highly recognized international journals, including JACC Cardiovascular Imaging, Heart, Thrombosis and Haemostatisis, Am Heart J, Korean Circ J, and etc. He has also received numerous awards, such as Best Oral Abstract Presenter at TCTAP in 2018, Best Oral Abstract Presenter at KSIC in 2017 and This year’s Fellow Trainee at SNUH in 2017, to name a few. He is pursuing his career in interventional cardiology as a member of the Korean Society of Interventional Cardiology, of Echocardiography, and of Critical Care Medicine.

Interview with Dr. Jeehoon Kang

Q1) You’ve accomplished so much in this field at a very young age. It can be fairly said that it is barely possible for ordinary trainees to achieve such an accomplishment under pressure of hard work and tight schedule. Could you tell us some of your good practices in your daily life which led to your success?
I am more than flattered to be given this prize, and I would like to express my gratitude to everyone around me. Although I think that my present achievements are far from a success, I do admit that I have done additional work to reach my present status. Probably, the strongest motivation to maintain my research was the current academic trend of interventional cardiology. I tried to update my knowledge by reading newly released articles, attending various conferences, and having discussions with my senior colleagues. I could feel in my instinct that I should exert myself to keep up with the current trend and furthermore to make a voice in the international societies of cardiology.

Q2) Who would be the person, if you consider one mentor, having affected you the most?
This is a very difficult question. I can definitely say that many senior members in our department have given a positive influence on my career, making it impossible to consider ‘the most’. However, I could say that Drs. Hyo-Soo Kim, Bon-Kwon Koo, and Kyung-Woo Park have supported me both materially and morally during my entire career. I am still receiving boundless support from my senior colleagues, which is a grateful gift for me.

Q3) Which subfield of cardiology do you consider committing yourself to in a future decade?
I would like to commit my future decade in optimal treatment for coronary artery disease patients. Despite the vast amount of data from previous trials, we still do not know the answers for many questions in this field. This includes, who optimal candidates are for PCI, what the best specific strategy is for PCI, and how we should apply adjunctive treatments. Little is known and much needs to be clarified, which leaves a lot to be done. Especially, I find that there is a deep need for cardiology specialists in the field or critical care medicine. Although we always feel that we are treating critically ill patients, ironically, we have very few consensuses in treating critical patients. Aforementioned question will give me lots of homework which I may focus on for the next decade in my career.

Q4) What role do you think AI (Artificial Intelligence) is going to have in your research subject?
Regarding the risk stratification model for clinical events after PCI, I am very eager to see what AI can do to increase the accuracy of these models. Although we know various factors that are predictors of adverse clinical events, current models which incorporate these factors show at most a moderate predictive value. AI could be used to identify unknown predictors, and to develop a sophisticated model. If AI is able to develop a better model which could be used in the clinic, I think that we should not hesitate in applying it in the field.

Q5) What word best describes your feeling of being the winner of this prestigious award?
I will express my status as a feeling of ‘responsibility’. Now that I have received this prestigious award, I feel great responsibility to show a notable response. I hope that my future research will meet this expectation.