Miller Receives Earl Bakken Scientific Achievement Award

Los Angeles (Jan. 29, 2013) —The Society of Thoracic Surgeons presented the Earl Bakken Scientific Achievement Award to D. Craig Miller, MD on Tuesday morning during the General Session at the STS 49th Annual Meeting.
Dr. Miller is the Thelma and Henry Doelger Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery and Director of the Cardiovascular Surgical Physiology Research Laboratories at Stanford University.

“I would like this to serve as a testimonial for the young people in the audience that perseverance will pay off,” Dr. Miller said as he accepted the award. “I have a stack 4 feet high of grant applications that never got funded. Don’t give up. … Always keep that quest to satisfy your intellectual curiosity at the top of your priority list. That’s how progress will be made and we’ll move forward.”

Board-certified in surgery and thoracic surgery, with special qualifications in general vascular surgery, Dr. Miller specializes in valve repair and replacement, thoracic aortic surgery, mitral valve repair, and valve-sparing aortic root replacement. The recipient of numerous awards, including Distinguished Scientist and Distinguished Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association, Dr. Miller has authored or co-authored more than 500 scientific articles in peer-reviewed publications and more than 200 refereed abstracts, proceedings, and films. He has also lectured extensively in the United States and abroad and is involved with nearly three dozen local, national, and international professional associations.

Dr. Miller earned his medical degree at Stanford, where he also completed his general surgery residency and cardiovascular surgery residency.

Dr. Miller’s research interests include experimental laboratory large animal projects focused on the investigation of left ventricular and cardiac mechanics, bioenergetics, and left ventricular and mitral valve physiology and pathophysiology. Currently, his research efforts are aimed at understanding the mitral valve and subvalvular mitral apparatus and transmural left ventricular wall strains, thickening, and myolaminar fiber-sheet mechanics.

“Dr. Miller was chosen for this award because of his enormous achievements in the understanding and pathophysiology of mitral valve disease, as well as aortic pathology. He has contributed endlessly to the science and understanding of both disease processes and their surgical repair,” said 2012–2013 STS President Jeffrey B. Rich, MD. “Craig is a world-renowned expert in both areas and has taught countless cardiovascular surgeons on the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.”

The Earl Bakken Scientific Achievement Award was established in 1999 through a grant from medical equipment company Medtronic, Inc., to honor individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions that have enhanced the practice of cardiothoracic surgery and patients' quality of life. The award is named for one of the co-founders of Medtronic, Earl Bakken. Among numerous other achievements, Mr. Bakken developed the first wearable artificial pacemaker.


Founded in 1964, STS is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 6,600 cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and allied health professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality care through education, research and advocacy.

The STS Annual Meeting is one of the largest cardiothoracic surgery meetings in the world. The 2012 STS Annual Meeting attracted 4,700 registrants, including 2,300 cardiothoracic surgery professionals.