Melvin L. Marcus Early Career Investigator Award

Sponsored by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences

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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The Melvin L. Marcus Early Career Investigator Award in Cardiovascular Sciences encourages young investigators to continue research careers in cardiovascular or circulatory physiology. This award has historically recognized physiological research and research in large-mammal studies, and encompasses functional studies in genetically engineered mice or mammals that are the recipients of cell or gene therapy.

Awardees of Prize-Winning Presentations

Awardees of Prize-Winning Presentations
Year Awardee
2020 Catherine A. Makarewich, PhD
Mitolamban is a Novel Cardiac-enriched Mitochondrial Microprotein that Regulates Respiratory Complex III
2019 Ronald J. Vagnozzi, PhD
An Acute Immune Response Underlies the Benefit of Cardiac Adult Stem Cell Therapy
2018 Markus Wallner, MD, PhD
Inhibition Improves Cardiopulmonary Function in a Feline Model of Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction
2017 Olurotimi Mesubi, MBBS, MPH
CaMKII Oxidation Causes Increased Atrial Fibrillation in Diabetic Mice
2016 Danny El-Nachef, PhD
2015 Sarah Schumacher, Ph.D.
2014 Dennis M. Abraham, BS, MD
TREK-1 Modulates Fibrosis & Diastolic Dysfunction Through Activation of Stress-Activated Kinases
Dan Shao, BS, Ph.D.
A Redox Dependent Mechanism for Regulation of AMPK Activation by Thioredoxin1 during Energy Starvation
Ippei Shimizu, MD, Ph.D.
Semaphorin - induced inflammation contributes to Insulin Resistance in Dietary Obesity
Melissa Thal, Ph.D.
In Vivo Differentiation of Epigenetically Reprogrammed Mouse and Human Endothelial Progenitor Cells Into Cardiomyocytes Enhances Functional and Anatomical Post-Infarct Myocardial Repair
Reinier Boon, Ph.D.
Inhibition of the Age-induced MicroRNA-34 Improves Recovery after AMI in Mice
2009 Timothy Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Repairs Myocardial Infarction and Restores Cardiac Function
2008 Atsuhiko Naito, M.D., Ph.D.
Promotion of CHIP-mediated p53 degradation protects the heart from ischemic injury

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates must be pursuing research in the basic biological or medical sciences or related fields.
  • Abstract must be submitted to one of the categories for presentation at Scientific Sessions in which the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences is the lead/primary sponsor. Make sure that your abstract has been submitted in a category listed under the award for which you want to apply.
  • Candidates include PhDs and/or MDs who have completed training within the last four years; or PhD and/or MD who are still within in the first four years after their first faculty appointment, as of the award application date.
  • All applicants for the Marcus Award must be members of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences. If you need to become an AHA Professional Member, you should do so by one week prior to the application submission deadline for your membership account to be processed in time for the application submission deadline. Learn more about becoming an AHA Professional Member.
  • An individual may not compete for similar early career investigator awards from the other American Heart Association scientific councils during the same year.
  • Only one manuscript per candidate will be considered.
  • The applicant must be the first and presenting author, although the manuscript may have co-authors. The presenting author of an accepted abstract must be registered for Scientific Sessions. Additional information about registration and fees may be found on the Scientific Sessions website.
  • Winners and Finalists are not eligible to re-enter the competition in subsequent years.
  • There are no citizenship requirements.
  • Abstract results and presentations (abstract or manuscript) are prohibited from release until AHA embargo date and time (5 a.m. ET/4 a.m. CT, Monday, November 8, 2021). You will be contacted by AHA communications if you are selected to participate in an AHA news event.
  • Abstract data may not be presented at a national or international meeting or world congress before the date and time of presentation at Scientific Sessions.
  • The abstract must comply with the AHA Abstract Submission Guidelines as outlined by the Committee on Scientific Sessions Program.
  • Applicants may only be considered for a council’s award if the abstract is submitted to a category primarily sponsored by that council. Please view a list of Scientific Sessions Council Awards and Travel Grants Available by Abstract Category and Community (PDF) for more information. Make sure your abstract has been submitted in a category listed under the award for which you want to apply.
  • Abstracts/manuscripts eligible for this award must be based upon projects that adhere to the American Heart Association’s policies governing all research awards, regardless of whether the project was funded by the American Heart Association. These policies include (but are not limited to) research using human subjects or animals and stem cell research.
  • Notwithstanding the above, the AHA Officers have the discretion to determine eligibility for the award in extraordinary circumstances when there is an issue relating to AHA policy or positions or other potentially controversial issue relating to the positioning or perception of the AHA.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Scientific merit of the abstract
  • Quality and originality of the manuscript
  • Letter from the candidate's sponsor and other included reference letters
  • Oral abstract presentation at Scientific Sessions (finalists only). The finalist must be the presenter of his/her submission and no alternates or proxy will be allowed.

How to Apply/Required Documents

Electronic submission through the Council Awards Application System is required. Hard copies of any part of the application cannot be accepted.

Your application file should contain the following documents in PDF format:

  1. AHA abstract in accordance with AHA rules and regulations for submitting abstracts to Scientific Sessions. Please note that this abstract must be submitted through the AHA's Scientific Sessions website before the abstract submission deadline. Visit Scientific Sessions to submit your abstract before submission of this award application. Your abstract control number will be needed on the award application form.
  2. An unpublished manuscript based on independent research in the abstract. The work covered by the submitted abstract must not have been presented at a national or international meeting before presentation at the AHA scientific event. If so, the abstract must be withdrawn.
  3. Curriculum vitae, including bibliography.
  4. A letter detailing how much of the design and research work was done by the candidate and by any co-investigators. The candidate's immediate supervisor, division head, department chairman, or institute director must write this statement. In case of multi-authored manuscripts, the supervisor should also indicate that among all the co-authors the applicant is the most appropriate candidate for the award, and offer rationale for this opinion. Supportive statements of the candidate and his or her relevant qualifications as a researcher are also encouraged.

Though not required, up to two additional letters of support or reference from individuals familiar with the applicant, his or her background, or his or her research may be submitted in the application file. Inclusion of additional support letters does not guarantee higher consideration of an application, but certainly can be beneficial.

Visit the Council Awards & Fellowships Application System to complete an application.

A username and password previously set up through online profile registration at Professional Heart Daily will be necessary to access the Application System. If you have not created an online profile yet, please visit Professional Heart Daily to create an online member profile before accessing the Council Awards Application System. AHA Professional Members who are creating an online profile for the first time should make sure to register using their AHA member identification numbers.

An active AHA Professional member account is required of all applicants for this award. If you are joining the AHA to apply, please wait on your AHA member number to arrive from AHA Members Services via e-mail before creating an online profile and starting your application file. We suggest that new members join the AHA by May 30 for the member account number to be processed and delivered in time for the application deadline.


Finalists for the Early Career Investigator Awards competitions associated with Scientific Sessions will be announced in August. The top candidates for the Marcus Award will present their research results at Scientific Sessions.

Each finalist will also receive the following:

  • Plaque and $1,500 for the first-prize winner; plaque and $500 for other finalists.
  • Complimentary council dinner ticket, along with recognition at the council dinner.

Each finalist will be designated in the Scientific Sessions online supplement to Circulation. Acceptance for the competition does not guarantee publication in any other American Heart Association sponsored journal. Abstracts associated with a published manuscript can be presented an AHA scientific event if the manuscript was published after the time the abstract was submitted to the event, however the abstract will not be published as a part of the journal publication.


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