Frans J. Th. Wackers
Frans J. Th. Wackers, M.D., Ph.D. is professor emeritus of diagnostic radiology and medicine (cardiology). After becoming an emeritus professor in 2008, he continued for five years as a senior research scientist in the Department of Medicine to finish a multi-center study on silent heart disease in patients with diabetes mellitus. He served as director of the Cardiovascular Nuclear Imaging and Exercise Laboratories at Yale University School of Medicine for twenty-two years. Dr. Wackers also was director of the Yale University Radionuclide Core laboratory. The laboratory was since 1984 involved in numerous multi-center clinical studies utilizing cardiac nuclear imaging.
Born in Echt, The Netherlands, Dr. Wackers received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Amsterdam School of Medicine in 1970. In 1977, he completed internal medicine and cardiology training in the former Wilhelmina Gasthuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In June of 1977, Dr. Wackers moved to the United States to join the faculty of the Section of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine (1977–1981), the University of Vermont College of Medicine (1981–1984), and, since 1984, again, at the Yale School of Medicine.
Dr. Wackers is a pioneer in the clinical use of radionuclide (radioisotope) imaging for the noninvasive detection of blood flow abnormalities in the heart and resulting abnormalities of cardiac pump function. He was recruited from Amsterdam to the Yale Section of Cardiovascular Medicine because of his unique experience with clinical imaging of the hearts in patients with acute heart attacks. He was a strong proponent of computer quantification of cardiac abnormalities on radioisotope images. He aimed to use new imaging techniques to answer relevant clinical questions. In the multi-center clinical study in patients with diabetes, he assessed the frequency of subclinical coronary artery disease and whether screening of asymptomatic patients with radionuclide imaging affected clinical outcomes.
He is one of the founders and president (1994–1995) of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology. He initiated and was president of the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology (1996–1997) and of the Intersocietal Commission for Accreditation of Nuclear Cardiology Laboratories (1997–2005).
Dr. Wackers is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, of the American Heart Association, and a Fellow of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology. He is also a Diploma European Cardiologist of the European Society of Cardiology. He was on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the American Journal of Cardiology, and the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. He is the recipient of the Rescar Award of the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands (1988), the Herrman Blumgart Award of the Society of Nuclear Medicine (1995), the Homi Baba Award of the Indian Nuclear Cardiological Society (1997), the Eugene Drake Award of the American Heart Association (1999), the Distinguished Service Award of the Society of Nuclear Cardiology (1999), the third Mario Verani Memorial Lecturer of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (2004), and the Wenckebach Lecturer of the Dutch Society of Cardiology (2005).
Dr. Wackers has published more than 350 original scientific articles on nuclear cardiology and clinical cardiology in peer-reviewed journals.