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On Tuesday, 17 May, cardiac surgeon and Corresponding Member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences (LAS), Professor Pēteris Stradiņš was presented with the Pauls Stradiņš Award for his outstanding contribution to the development of heart surgery, as well as for his significant contribution to preserving the intellectual legacy of the Stradiņš family. The decision to give this award to Pēteris Stradiņš was approved by the RSU Senate and the LAS Senate.

The Minister for Health Daniels Pavļuts expressed his appreciation for Prof. Stradiņš’ contribution to cardiac surgery and maintaining the family’s traditions. Pavļuts emphasised that the award winner is not only an educator and researcher but has also contributed to developing cardiology world-wide. RSU Rector, Professor Aigars Pētersons, highlighted Prof. Stradiņš’ professional achievements as well as his contribution to a new generation of cardiac surgeons. ‘This is a great award that he is receiving from his peers, his alma mater, the Latvian Academy of Sciences, and the Museum of the History of Medicine,’ emphasised the Rector.

The laudatio was given by Mārtiņš Kalējs, a cardiac surgeon and assistant professor at the RSU Department of Surgery, which was followed by an academic speech by Prof. Stradiņš, “Ten Zen Bulls or the Road to Modern Heart Valve Treatment”. Stradiņš is a Professor at the RSU Department of Surgery, the Head of the Cardiac Surgery Centre at Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital (PSCUS), a member of the PSCUS Medical Council, and a Corresponding Member of LAS.

He has organised and performed many unique heart surgeries using a multidisciplinary approach, including the first hybrid heart valve surgery in Latvia. He has introduced acute cardiac surgery services and established an outpatient cardiac surgery service, as well as a state-of-the-art heart valve reconstruction surgery programme.

Prof. Stradiņš’ contribution to cardiac surgery research is significant. He teaches courses in general, cardiac, and thoracic surgery and has supervised many doctoral theses. Prof. Stradiņš has been involved in nine research projects of national importance and has been in charge of three sections of national research programmes, as well as co-authored two inventions and five books.

Prof. Stradiņš is also an LAS expert in biology, medicine, and surgery. In addition to his work in heart surgery, Prof. Stradiņš has made a significant contribution to preserving the intellectual legacy of the Stradiņš family by, among other things, organising readings of works by academician Jānis Stradiņš (1933–2019). He is also an active supporter of the preservation and development of the cultural and historical values of Selonia, where the Stradiņš family comes from. He organised the 10th Congress of Selonia and is a board member of the Stenders Society.

The Pauls Stradiņš Award is awarded for outstanding achievements in practical medicine and science. Traditionally, the winner is announced publicly in January, Pauls Stradiņš’ (1896–1958) birthday month. The award ceremony and the Laudatio take place a few months later. The Pauls Stradiņš Award was established in 1983 in honour of the eminent surgeon and oncologist Professor Pauls Stradiņš. He is the founder of the hospital that bears his name, a museum, and a nursing school.