The AHA will honor several leaders in cardiovascular disease research and care during the Opening Session that begins at 1 p.m. Sunday in Main Event I, Hall D, Main Building.
The awards recognize contributions and achievements in research, mentorship and furthering the AHA’s goals. The 2017 award recipients are:
Gregg Fonarow, MD, FAHA
Fonarow is the Chairman’s Award honoree for his efforts to help the AHA achieve its goals.
He has given his time in AHA leadership positions at the local and national levels. He currently serves as chair of the AHA/ACC Task Force on Performance Measures, the Workplace Health Steering Committee and the Get With The Guidelines® Quality Improvement Subcommittee. He’s also a member of several other AHA committees, including the Quality Oversight Committee, the AMA/AHA Blood Pressure Volunteer Advisory Group and the Hospital Accreditation Science Committee.
Fonarow is the Eliot Corday Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science in the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Basic Research Prize
Walter Koch, PhD, FAHA
Koch will receive the 2017 Basic Research Prize for his seminal contributions to cardiovascular science.
Koch’s research focuses on cardiovascular gene transfer and molecular signaling of cardiac injury and repair. He is a pioneer in the basic molecular biology of the heart and his studies have identified novel molecular targets for treating heart failure. For the past 20 years, his research has examined the role that G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRK) play in normal and failing heart function — essentially creating a new field of study based on the significant role that GRKs play in the cardiovascular system.
Koch is the William Wikoff Smith Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine and chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia. He also directs the Center for Translational Medicine at Temple University.
Clinical Research Prize
Robert A. Harrington, MD, FAHA, FACC, FESC
Harrington is receiving the 2017 Clinical Research Prize for his novel approach to designing and conducting clinical trials focused on improving the care of patients with coronary artery disease with blood-clotting complications. He is being honored for his leadership of landmark studies, including PURSUIT, REPLACE, TRACER, CHAMPION and APEX.
An interventional cardiologist, Harrington’s studies have been key to the approval of multiple anti-thrombotic agents. He continues to innovate research methods by leveraging electronic health data, mobile health applications and novel analytic methods in large trials.
Harrington is chair of the Department of Medicine and the Arthur L. Bloomfield Professor of Medicine at Stanford University in California.
Population Research Prize
Donna R. Arnett, PhD, MSPH, BSN, FAHA
Arnett, AHA past-president, is the recipient of the 2017 Population Research Prize for merging basic molecular sciences with population studies to develop a novel understanding of cardiovascular disease.
Her work includes seminal research in identifying genetic biomarkers and risk prediction. She was also instrumental in helping develop the AHA’s population research portfolio by bridging the gap between population and molecular research investigators.
Arnett is dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award
Gary D. Webb, MD, FRCP(C), FACC, FAHA
Webb will receive the 2017 Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award for his extensive mentoring of pediatric and adult cardiologists.
In a mentorship career that began in the early 1970s, Webb has shared his knowledge widely with trainees, fellow physicians, other clinicians and patients. He’s mentored 80 trainees since 1993.
Webb, a champion of educating professionals and patients about adult congenital heart disease, has seen many of his trainees establish congenital heart disease treatment programs worldwide. He was a founding member and the first president of the International Society for Adult Congenital Heart Disease.
Webb is director of the Cincinnati Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program and professor of clinical pediatrics and internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
Research Achievement Award
Thomas G. Brott, MD
Brott will receive the Research Achievement Award for his role in developing lifesaving interventions that have revolutionized acute ischemic stroke treatment.
In collaboration with the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, Brott and his research team identified and tested what became the first scientifically proven treatment for ischemic stroke — the intravenous administration of t-PA. Treatment with t-PA was shown to be efficacious for breaking up blood clots causing thrombotic strokes, and in 1996 the FDA approved t-PA for treatment of acute stroke. Before the treatment, clinicians could little do for stroke patients.
Brott is professor of neurology and director of research at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
Joseph A. Vita Award
Laura Mauri, MD, MSc, FAHA
The AHA’s newest honor recognizes Mauri for her transformative clinical investigations of treatment methodologies for a variety of cardiovascular disorders.
Her research clarified the balance of risk and benefit for continued blood-clot prevention therapy with platelet-inhibiting drugs in patients with coronary artery disease and stents. Her research group also has developed decision tools to individualize treatment choices by identifying patients most likely to benefit without significantly increasing bleeding risk. These tools have been widely adopted and have been incorporated into the AHA’s updated clinical practice guidelines.
Mauri is professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Clinical Biometrics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD, and Garrett A. FitzGerald, MD, FRS, FAHA
On Friday, the AHA presented its annual five-year, $1 million Merit Awards to Wu and FitzGerald as promising investigators — rather than for specific research projects — who have the potential to advance a field of science with creative and novel approaches.
Wu’s research focuses on the biological mechanisms of stem cells. He is director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and the Simon H. Stertzer, MD, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine & Radiology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
The FitzGerald Lab focuses on postanoid biology and the role of peripheral molecular clocks in cardiovascular biology, metabolism and aging. FitzGerald is the McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and director of the Institute for Translational Medicine & Therapeutics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.