Author + information
- aUniversity of Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, ItalyUniversity of Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy
- bUniversity of Kinki, Osaka, JapanUniversity of Kinki, Osaka, Japan
- ↵∗Address for correspondence:
Dr. Ciro Indolfi, Professor of Cardiology, Chief, Division of Cardiology, CCU and Interventional Cardiology, Director, CNR Research Unit, University Magna Graecia, Viale Europa S/N, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy.
Dr. John Ross, Jr., MD, one of the fathers of modern cardiology, passed away in his home in La Jolla, California. Dr. Ross was a Distinguished Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. As a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Cornell Medical College, Dr. Ross received clinical and research training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, and the New York Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Among his many accomplishments was his development, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, of transseptal left heart catheterization in 1958, now widely used to perform percutaneous mitral intervention, and catheter ablation, used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. Figure 1A shows the original tracing of the first transseptal catheterization of the history in a patient with mitral regurgitation.
He introduced the concept of pre-load reserve and afterload mismatch, by which a marked depression in ejection fraction occurs despite relatively well maintained myocardial contractility when a sudden severe overload on the ventricle forces it to the limit of its pre-load reserve and simultaneously places an excessive afterload on the myocardial fibers. He also described the phenomenon of subendocardial perfusion-contraction matching. Finally, Dr. Ross first described the close relationship between the symptoms and the prognosis in severe aortic stenosis with a well known figure (Figure 1B).
As fellows at the Seaweed Canyon Laboratory in La Jolla, California, we were not sure that our experiment was good until the Thursday lab meetings, where he used to double check all the original traces of the experiments. During the lab meeting, he always introduced new ideas and concepts that were tested afterwards in a rigorous experimental manner. He was also one of the first researchers who understood the impact of molecular sciences, creating a new division of Molecular Cardiology.
He was an example of stainless moral and scientific integrity for the fellows and a generation of cardiologists. Nevertheless, he was a very gentle and shy person with a great interest in music.
There are more than 60 physicians, formerly his fellows, who were inspired by him at the beginning of their careers and moved on to become professors and leaders in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, or physiology in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
His wife, Lola Romanucci, an Italian anthropologist of the UC San Diego Department of Anthropology, died April 29, 2017, at the age of 93. In 1990, the American Heart Association deservedly gave Dr. Ross the James B. Herrick Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cardiology.
We are so proud of being Dr. Ross's fellows, and we could have had no better mentor. The death of John Ross, Jr., is an immeasurable loss for the entire cardiology community.
Both authors have reported that they have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.
- 2019 American College of Cardiology Foundation