Charles Simonton, M.D. is renowned for his leadership in product development and large-scale clinical trials. He was most recently at Abbott Vascular where he served as chief medical officer and divisional vice president of Global Medical Affairs since 2008. At Abbott Vascular, he led the programs that resulted in the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of carotid stents, MitraClip and Absorb BVS, in addition to the EXCEL and COAPT trials. Prior to Abbott, Dr. Simonton spent almost 30 years as an interventional cardiologist working with complex cardiac and vascular patients. He started at Duke University Medical Center then moved to the Sanger Clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he created his own research team to study patient outcomes following the use of new cardiac technologies. Dr. Simonton founded the Carolinas Cardiovascular Research Foundation at the Carolinas Heart Institute, which is now part of Atrium Health.
He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and did his internship, residency and chief residency in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and his cardiology fellowship at Duke University.
Dr. Simonton’s appointment comes as Abiomed accelerates its clinical research, including multiple FDA randomized control trials (RCTs) such as the STEMI-DTU RCT, the PROTECT IV RCT, and the RECOVER IV RCT. Dr. Simonton will also play an integral role as Abiomed launches new, innovative products and incorporates artificial intelligence.
“I am excited to be a part of Abiomed’s dedicated team focused on developing innovative medical devices. Over the years, I have become very familiar with the benefits of Impella and its ability to unload the heart and have seen how it is transforming the standard of care. I am impressed with Abiomed’s talent, culture, and mission and I am thrilled to be joining the company,” said Dr. Simonton.
Dr. Seth Bilazarian, who has been vice president and chief medical officer of Abiomed since 2015, will assume medical leadership of Abiomed’s physician education and training programs as vice president, medical education and training, as Abiomed grows its online education offering with CAMP PCI and creates cutting-edge virtual proctoring programs. Dr. Bilazarian has been instrumental in guiding and executing medical professional education and training at Abiomed. His new role, which will report to Dr. Simonton, will expand upon those responsibilities and further differentiate Abiomed as an industry leader.
“The addition of Dr. Chuck Simonton makes our world-class medical office even stronger,” said Michael R. Minogue, Abiomed’s Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “Chuck’s impressive record of accomplishments and expertise will complement Seth’s leadership in advancing our education and training programs and help Abiomed rise to the next level for our patients and physicians.”