Robert Russo, MD, PhD

  • Cardiovascular Disease
9850 Genesee Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
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Cardiovascular Disease


  • English


Robert Russo, MD, has been a member of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease at Scripps Clinic for more than 20 years. During his tenure he has held numerous leadership roles including Director of the Intravascular Imaging and Cardiac MRI Programs.

While Dr. Russo’s practice of invasive cardiology encompasses all areas of cardiovascular disease, his special interests include coronary artery disease, valvular and athletic heart disease, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), cardiac MRI, and the safety of cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators (ICD) in the MRI environment. He also holds Level 3 certification in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Dr. Russo’s philosophy of clinical care places the highest priority on patient education. Taking the time to ensure that every patient understands their disease process and how lifestyle modifications in addition to medical therapy can alter the course of cardiovascular disease is goal of his practice. This incorporates the latest clinical research and the use of national practice guidelines when appropriate.

In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Russo is heavily involved in clinical research, focusing on the areas of coronary artery disease, coronary stent placement, IVUS, cardiac MRI, and MRI for patients with implanted cardiac devices. His role as principal investigator for two nationwide clinical trials has led to changes in IVUS criteria for coronary stent placement, as well as the establishment of diagnostic criteria for measurement of a lesion in the left main coronary artery (an area historically associated with diagnostic challenges). He is presently the principal investigator of a multicenter study evaluating the risk of MRI for patients with cardiac devices. He has published more than 30 journal articles, presented more than 70 abstracts at national conferences, and authored “The IVUS Pocket Guide,” a physician reference originally published in 1996 that is now in its seventh edition.

Dr. Russo is passionately committed to medical education and is a mentor to cardiology fellows from Scripps Clinic and other institutions. In addition to his role as a faculty member in the cardiovascular disease fellowship program, he is Director of Scripps Clinic’s Advanced Imaging Fellowship and a member of the Board of Directors of the Hewitt Medical Research Foundation. Dr. Russo is a former Skaggs Scholar for translational medicine and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Molecular and Experimental Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute.

Medical Education

University of California at Irvine School of Medicine, MD, 1986


Scripps Clinic, Internal Medicine, 1989


Scripps Clinic, Cardiovascular Disease, 1992

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