Dr Fuster completed his medical degree at Barcelona University in 1967 and then pursued an internship at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. In 1971, he attended the University of Edinburgh as a research fellow in cardiovascular disease for three years under the tutelage of Desmond Julian and Harold Sheehan. He earned his PhD degree at Edinburgh University with his thesis focussing on platelet factor 4.
Following his fellowship in Edinburgh, Valentin spent time as a resident at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Minnesota, later becoming the school’s Professor of Medicine and Consultant in Cardiology at the age of 39.
Valentin spent 10 years at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, following which he became Chief of Cardiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.
In 1991, Valentin was made full Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was one of the first to appreciate the role of plaque disruption in the development of some acute coronary diseases and to identify the elements leading to plaque rupture and the thrombogenic components of plaques.
In 1994, Valentin returned to Mount Sinai as Director of the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute. He also served as the Richard Gorlin Heart Research Professor at Mount Sinai and later became Director of the Marie-Josée and Henry R Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health.
Valentin has held many international positions, including President of the American Heart Association; President of the World Heart Federation; member of the Institute of Medicine of the American National Academy of Sciences (where he chaired the committee for the prevention of the epidemic Global Cardiovascular Disease); member of the Advisory Board of the American National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and President of the Training Program of the American College of Cardiology.
He is currently Director of Mount Sinai Heart, as well as being Physician-in-Chief of Mount Sinai Hospital. He also holds the post of Director General del Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III in Madrid, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to Cybermetrics Lab, Dr Fuster is the most cited research scientist in the world with his works being cited more than 240,000 times. His contribution to cardiovascular medicine has had a profound impact on the research and treatment of patients with heart disease, and he is therefore considered to be a leading researcher in the world of cardiology.
Valentin has received many awards and distinctions including: The Andreas Gruentzig Scientific Award from the European Society of Cardiology (1992); the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American College of Cardiology (1993); the Prince of Asturias for Scientific and Technical Research (1996); the Distinguished Scientist of the American Heart Association (2003); the Distinguished Researcher Award of the Inter-American Society of Cardiology (2005); and The Gregorio Marañón National Research Prize from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (2019). He has been named Doctor Honoris Causa by 34 universities around the world, and has received three of the most prestigious National Institutes of Health scholarships. In addition, he has been named Physician of the Year by the ABC Salud awards for his contribution to cardiovascular medicine and his current research into the links between heart and brain health.
Valentin is also the only cardiologist in the world to have been honoured with the highest research awards from the four leading international cardiology organisations: the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, the European Society of Cardiology and the Inter-American Society of Cardiology.
His areas of speciality are:
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Heart valve disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Preventive cardiology