Trustee and Alumnus Dr. Spencer King Receives Prestigious Career Achievement Award

Statue of Jesse Mercer on the Mercer campus.

ATLANTA — Mercer University alumnus and trustee Spencer B. King III, M.D., was recently presented with the 2009 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) Career Achievement Award. The award recognizes extraordinary talent and dedication in the areas of academic achievement, clinical expertise, education and invention in the field of interventional cardiovascular medicine.
Dr. King, who serves as president of the Heart and Vascular Institute at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, began his career at Emory University, where he was instrumental in starting that institution’s catheterization labs and where he and colleague Andreas Gruentzig, M.D., began the first live demonstration courses of coronary angioplasty in the United States.

“He has distinguished himself in every capacity,” said Martin B. Leon, M.D., TCT course director and founder and chairman of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation. “Dr. King had the vision and the insight to bring Andreas Gruentzig from Europe to the United States,” Dr. Leon said, adding that this collaboration became a launching pad for the Emory program, which then became a model program known around the world.

“Dr. King in particular was influential in many different new device design concepts. Principal among those was the invention of vascular brachytherapy, or intravascular radiation therapy, to treat restenosis,” Dr. Leon said.

In 1998, Dr. King became the first interventionalist to serve as president of the American College of Cardiology. The following year, he successfully applied to the American Board of Internal Medicine to establish the Interventional Cardiology Subspeciality Boards, for which he served as chairman for 10 years. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, which after two years of publication under Dr. King’s leadership boasts a circulation of 10,000 and recently gained acceptance for indexing in PubMed and Medicine.

“Spencer King has made numerous contributions, any one of which would have satisfied the criteria for this award,” said Gregg W. Stone, M.D., a TCT course director from Columbia University Medical Center in New York. “He is recognized throughout the world as one of the most respected leaders in the subspeciality.”

Dr. King, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Mercer in 1959, is currently serving his fifth term on the Board of Trustees. He is a recipient of the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and has served as president of the Mercer President’s Club. Dr. King’s father was a longtime faculty member in Mercer’s College of Liberal Arts.