Awards - Scientific Sessions 2021

Scientific Sessions 2021 awardees must attend the conference in person to receive travel funds related to the award.

Award applications for Scientific Sessions are now closed and will reopen in April 2022. Please visit Council Awards for opportunities to apply for active awards. Awards applicants must be AHA Professional Members and must be affiliated with the AHA sponsoring scientific council at the time of application.


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Presidential Session Awards

Chairman’s Award

The American Heart Association began awarding the Chairman’s Award in 2002. Recipients of this award are notable for consistently having gone above and beyond in their leadership and commitment to helping advance the mission of the association. This award honors honor medical and science volunteers who have made contributions to further the AHA’s strategic goals in non-science areas at both the national and local levels.

2020 Chairman’s Award Winner
Sonia Y. Angell, MD, MPH, DTM&H
Columbia University, New York, NY


Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award

The American Heart Association began conferring this award in 1999, in recognition of the many contributions of the luminary cardiologist Eugene Braunwald in teaching and mentoring the next generation of faculty researchers and educators. This award honors individuals whose academic careers have included a long-term record (at least 20–25 years) of successful mentoring of promising young academicians. Recipients have included some of the most prominent researchers and educators in the country, each of whom have had lasting impact on cardiovascular care and research through their extensive mentoring of residents and fellows.

2020 Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award Winner
Nanette K. Wenger, MD, FAHA
Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA


Research Achievement Award

One of the American Heart Association’s most distinguished and historic honors, the Research Achievement Award has been conferred annually since 1953. Recipients have included many of the most prominent and recognized cardiovascular researchers in the country, the legacies of which will be felt for decades to come. This is a very distinguished award of national importance and its presentation is a highlight of Scientific Sessions, the association’s annual meeting.

2020 Research Achievement Award Winner
JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, MPH, FAHA
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA


Basic Research Prize

The American Heart Association began awarding the AHA Basic Research Prize in 1990. Recipients have included the most prominent cardiovascular basic scientists in the country, each of whom have made discoveries that have had transformational impact in their respective fields. This Prize is awarded each year in recognition of an individual who is making outstanding contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science, and who currently runs an exceptional cardiovascular basic science laboratory.

2020 Basic Research Prize Winner
Ann Marie Schmidt, MD
New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY


Clinical Research Prize

The American Heart Association began awarding the AHA Clinical Research Prize in 2005. Recipients have included the most prominent cardiovascular researchers in the country, each of whom have made discoveries that have had transformational impact in their respective fields. This Prize is awarded each year in recognition of an individual who is making outstanding contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science, and who currently runs an exceptional cardiovascular basic science laboratory.

2020 Clinical Research Prize Winner
Anne B. Newman, MD, MPH
Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA


Population Research Prize

The American Heart Association began awarding the AHA Population Research Prize in 2005. Recipients have included some of the most prominent population health researchers in the country, each of whom have made seminal discoveries in understanding and/or treatment of cardiovascular disease. This Prize is to recognize and reward an individual who is making outstanding contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science and who currently heads an outstanding cardiovascular population research laboratory.

2020 Population Research Prize Winner
Michelle A. Albert, MD, MPH, FAHA
University of California San Francisco - NURTURE Center, San Francisco, CA


Joseph A. Vita Award

The Joseph A. Vita Award is sponsored by Scientific Publishing, Office of Science Operations. The award was created in honor of Joseph A. Vita, who served as the first Editor-in-Chief of the AHA’s Open Access journal, JAHA: Journal of the American Heart Association. Each year this award is presented to a recipient to recognize the contributions of a mid-career investigator whose work, published (in the AHA journals) during the last five years, has had great impact in the field of cardiovascular biology or cardiovascular health. The selection is based on work that changes the direction of or has transformative impact on basic, translational, or clinical cardiovascular research in any discipline.

2020 Joseph A. Vita Award Winners
Hooman Kamel, MD
Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY

Robert W. Yeh, MD, MSc, MBA
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA


Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist designation was created in 2003. This prestigious title is bestowed on an elite group of scientists whose work has importantly advanced our understanding of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and brain health. The designation is highly selective and is intended to recognize prominent AHA members who have made major and independent contributions to cardiovascular, stroke and brain health research. It is the highest honor bestowed upon a science volunteer by the AHA.

2020 Distinguished Scientist Award Winners

Joan Heller Brown PhD, FAHA
Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacology
University of California San Diego, School of Medicine
La Jolla, CA

Robert M. Carey, MD, FAHA
Dean, Emeritus and Professor of Medicine
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Charlottesville, VA

Glenn Fishman, MD, FAHA
William Goldring Professor of Medicine and Director, Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine
NYU Grossman School of Medicine
New York, NY

Mark T. Gladwin, MD, FAHA
Jack D. Myers Distinguished Professor and Chair
Chairman, Department of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh and UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA

Jeffrey D. Molkentin, PhD, FAHA
Professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Division Director, Molecular, Cardiovascular, Biology, Executive Co-Director, The Heart Institute
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, OH

Frank Sacks, MD, FAHA
Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Nutrition Department
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA

Gregg L. Semenza, MD, PhD, FAHA
C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Genetic Medicine, Pediatrics, Oncology, Medicine, Radiation Oncology and Biological Chemistry
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Director, Vascular Program
Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering
Baltimore, MD

Council Awards – Distinguished Achievement Awards

The scientific councils’ Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the affairs of a scientific council over a continuing period, and who have made substantial professional contributions to the field represented by the council. Some councils present this award annually while others present the award every 3 years*.

ATVB Distinguished Achievement Award in Arteriosclerosis
Sponsored by the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB)

  • Rama Natarajan, PhD, FAHA, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA

BCVS Distinguished Achievement Award
Sponsored by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS)

  • Ronglih Liao, PhD, FAHA, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

CLCD Distinguished Achievement Award
Sponsored by the Council on Clinical Cardiology (CLCD)

  • Ileana L. Piña, MD, MPH, FAHA, Central Michigan University, Detroit, MI

CVSN Distinguished Achievement Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN)

  • Nancy T. Artinian, PhD, RN, FAHA, Michigan State University College of Nursing, East Lansing, MI

EPI Distinguished Achievement Award*
Sponsored by the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention (EPI)

  • Daniel T. Lackland, DrPH, FAHA, Medical University South Carolina, Mt. Pleasant, SC

Young Hearts Distinguished Achievement Award
Sponsored by Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young (Young Hearts)

  • Pedro J. del Nido, MD, FAHA, Boston Children’s Hospital

Council Named Lectures

Council lectures feature presentations from some of today’s foremost clinicians and researchers as well as those with a lifetime of contributions to the field of cardiovascular disease.

Ancel Keys Memorial Lecturer
Sponsored by the Council on Epidemiology & Prevention (EPI)

  • David C. Goff, Jr., MD, PhD, FAHA, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD


Charles T. Dotter Memorial Lecture
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention (CVRI)

  • Suresh Vedantham, MD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO


Dickinson W. Richards Memorial Lecture
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation (3CPR)

  • Mark Robert Nicolls, MD, Stanford University, Stanford, CA


George E. Brown Memorial Lecture
Sponsored by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS)

  • Rong Tian, MD, PhD, FAHA, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


George Lyman Duff Memorial Lecture
Sponsored by the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB)

  • Karin Bornfeldt, PhD, FAHA, University Washington, Seattle, WA


GPM and EPI Mid-Career Research Award and Lecture
Sponsored by the Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine (GPM) and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention (EPI)

  • Naveen L. Pereira, MD, FAHA, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN


James B. Herrick Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cardiology
Sponsored by the Council on Clinical Cardiology (CLCD)

  • Alice K. Jacobs, MD, FAHA,Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA


Helen B. Taussig Memorial Lecture
Sponsored by Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young (Young Hearts)

  • Roberta G. Williams, MD, FAHA, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA


Katharine A. Lembright Award and Lecture
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN)

  • Anna Strömberg, PhD, RN, FAHA,Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden


Kathleen A. Dracup Distinguished Lecture Exemplary Career in Mentoring Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN)

  • Christopher S. Lee, PhD, RN, FAHA, Boston College, William F. Connell School of Nursing, Newton, MA


Kenneth D. Bloch Memorial Lecture
Sponsored by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS)

  • Jane A. Leopold, MD, FAHA, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA


Laennec Clinician Educator Lecture
Sponsored by the Council on Clinical Cardiology (CLCD)

  • N.A. Mark Estes, III, MD, FAHA, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburg, PA


Robert I. Levy Memorial Lecturer
Sponsored by the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention (EPI)

  • Penny M. Kris-Etherton, PhD, FAHA, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA


Russell Ross Memorial Lectureship in Vascular Biology
Sponsored by the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB)

  • Denisa D. Wagner, PhD, FAHA, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA


Sol Sherry Distinguished Lecture in Thrombosis
Sponsored by the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB)

  • Alisa S. Wolberg, PhD, FAHA, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC


Stroke Council Award and Lecture
Sponsored by the Stroke Council

  • Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, MSc, MAS, MBA, MLS, FAHAstrong>, University of California, San Francisco, CA


Science Catalyst Keynote & Thomas Smith Memorial Lecture
Sponsored by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS)

  • Christine E. Seidman, MD, FAHA, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA


William J. Rashkind Memorial Lecture
Sponsored by Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young (Young Hearts)

  • TBD


William W. L. Glenn Lecture
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia (CVSA)

  • Ralph J. Damiano, Jr., MD, FAHA, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO


Council Awards – Special Recognition Awards

Special Recognition Awards acknowledge clinicians and scientists active in basic, clinical, translational or population cardiovascular research for specific career endeavors and achievements.

Award applications for Scientific Sessions are now closed and will reopen in April 2022. Please visit Council Awards for opportunities to apply for active awards. Awards applicants must be AHA Professional Members and must be affiliated with the AHA sponsoring scientific council at the time of application.


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Clinical Article of the Year Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN)

  • Anne M. Fink, PhD, RN, FAHA, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

CVSA Surgery & Anesthesiology Mentoring Award

  • Linda Shore-Lesserson, MD, FAHA, Northwell Medical Center, Manhasset, NY

Excellence in Clinical Practice Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN)

  • Wendy Dusenbury, RN, DNP, FNP-BC, AGACNP-BC, ANVP-BC, FAHA, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN

GPM Medal of Honor
Sponsored by the Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine (GPM)

  • Patrick T. Ellinor, MD, PhD, FAHA,Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

GPM Mentoring Award
Sponsored by the Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine (GPM)

  • David M. Herrington, MD, MHS, FAHA,Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston Salem, NC

Marie Cowan Promising Early Career Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN) 

  • Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN, FAHA, Columbia University, New York, NY

Mathy Mezey Excellence in Aging Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN)

  • Ruth M. Masterson Creber, PhD, MSc, BSN, FAHA, Well Cornell Medicine, New York, NY

Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Frederick A. Masoudi, MD, MSPH, FAHA, University of Colorado School of Medicine – Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO

Research Article of the Year Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN)

  • Salah Al-Zaiti, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAHA,University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA

Stroke Article of the Year Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN) and the Stroke Council

  • Gianluca Pucciarelli, PhD, MSN, RN, FAHA, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy

Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award
Sponsored by the Council on Clinical Cardiology (CLCD)

  • Lorrel E. Brown Toft, MD,University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Reno, NV

Council Awards – Best Abstract Awards

These awards are presented for the top-scoring abstracts submitted in the sponsoring council’s abstract categories at Scientific Sessions. AHA members receive a 50% discount on the abstract submission fee.


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3CPR Best Abstract Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation (3CPR)

  • Victoria Toro, PhD, Université Laval, Québec, Canada

ATVB Early Career Award for Outstanding Research
Sponsored by the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB)

  • TBD

ATVB Special Recognition Awards
Sponsored by the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB)

  • Marvin T. Nieman, PhD, Case Western Reserve, University Cleveland, OH
  • Ryan E. Temel, PhD, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
  • Francine K. Welty, MD, PhD, FAHA, Harvard Medical School, Brookline, MA

CVSN Best Abstract Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN)

  • Yashika Sharma, MSN, RN

Outstanding Research Awards in Pediatric Cardiology
Sponsored by the Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young (Young Hearts)

  • Andrea Z. Beaton, MD, FAHA
  • Caren S. Goldberg, MD
  • Stephanie Santana, MD

Paul Dudley White International Scholar Award
We celebrate the value of science and would love to validate the achievements of you and your team this year. Abstracts submitted to Scientific Sessions may be considered for a Paul Dudley White International Scholar Award. This award recognizes authors that contributed to the highest ranked accepted abstract from each country.

  • TBD

Council Awards – Early Career Abstract Awards

These awards are designed to recognize endeavors by early career clinicians and scientists. Candidates will be considered not only for the quality and relevance of their research being submitted to Scientific Sessions but also for their accomplishments, contributions to their fields and expertise as researchers in general.

Congratulations to the finalists selected to present their oral abstract at Scientific Sessions.


Cournand and Comroe Early Career Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation (3CPR)

  • Megan Griffiths, MD, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • Sasha Z. Prisco, MD, PhD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • Tsukasa Shimauchi, MD, PhD, Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • Tomoyoshi Tamura, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Lianghui Zhang, MD, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

CVSA Resident Prize
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia (CVSA)

  • Makoto Hibino, MD, MPH, PhD, University of Toronto, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
  • Yujiro Yokoyama, MD, St. Luke's University Health Network, Bethlehem, PA

Elaine W. Raines Early Career Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB)

  • Mark C. Blaser, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Henry S. Cheng, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Fang Li, PhD, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY
  • Tanmay Mathur, MS, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Elizabeth Barrett-Connor Research Award for Early Career Investigators in Training
Sponsored by the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention (EPI)

  • Utibe R. Essien, MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Avirup Guha, MBBS, MPH, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Nicholas Marston, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Amgad Mentias, MD, MS, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
  • Nilay S. Shah, MD, MPH, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Genomic and Precision Medicine Early Career Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine (GPM)

  • Kevin A. Friede, MD, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Michael G. Levin, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • Kazuo Miyazawa, MD, PhD, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Saitama, Japan
  • Seyedeh Maryam Zekavat, MD, PhD, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Jay D. Coffman Early Career Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

  • Mohsin Chowdhury, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
  • Jordan K. Schaefer, MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Laennec Fellow in Training (FIT) Clinician Award
Sponsored by the Council on Clinical Cardiology (CLCD)

  • Charlotte Andersson, MD, PhD, FAHA, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
  • Vanessa Blumer, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
  • Lee Bockus, MD, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Megan M. McLaughlin, MD, MPH, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  • Inbar Raber, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA

Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Early Career Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health

  • Yoriko Heianza, PhD, MS, RD, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
  • Evangelos K. Oikonomou, MD, DPhil, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  • Matthew W. Segar, MD, MS, UT Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX

Louis N. and Arnold M. Katz Basic Science Research Prize for Early Career Investigators
Sponsored by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS)

  • Paul Cheng, MD, PhD, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • David Y. Chiang, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Barbara Gonzalez Teran, PhD, Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, CA
  • Yuri Kim, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

Martha N. Hill Early Career Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN)

  • Martha Abshire Saylor, PhD, RN, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Boston, MA
  • Angela Durante, PhD, MSN, RN University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy

Melvin Judkins Early Career Clinical Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention (CVRI)

  • Matthew K. Burrage, MBBS, University of Oxford, Oxford, England
  • Amrit Chowdhary, MBBS, MSc, MRCP, University of Leeds, Leeds, England
  • Hashrul N. Rashid, MBBS (Hons), MRCP (UK), Monash Health, Victoria, Australia
  • Valery L. Turner, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA
  • William Watson, MBBChir, University of Oxford, Oxford, England

Melvin L. Marcus Early Career Investigator Award in Cardiovascular Sciences
Sponsored by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS)

  • Daniel J. Blackwell, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Toshiyuki Ko, MD, PhD, The University of Tokyo Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
  • Jason D. Roh, MD, MHS, Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Yang Zhou, PhD, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
  • Han Zhu, MD, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Samuel A. Levine Early Career Clinical Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Council on Clinical Cardiology (CLCD)

  • Neel M. Butala, MD, MBA, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Shaan Khurshid, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • James P. MacNamara, MD, MSc, UT Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX
  • Ambarish Pandey, MD, MSCS, UT Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX

Vivien Thomas Early Career Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia (CVSA)

  • Awais Ashfaq, MS, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Yuanjia Zhu, MD, MS, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Young Hearts Early Career Investigator Award
Sponsored by Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young (Young Hearts)

  • Amee Bigelow, MD, MS, Nationwide Children's Hospital/The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • Mansi Gaitonde, MD, Emory University, Atlanta, GA