William C. Sessa, PhD is currently a Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Internal Medicine at Pfizer and Alfred Gilman Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Medicine at Yale University.
Following undergraduate studies at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Sciences, Dr. Sessa completed M.S. and Ph.D. studies in Pharmacology at the University of Rhode Island and New York Medical College. He conducted post-doctoral research at the William Harvey Research Institute in London and the University of Virginia, after which he joined the faculty of Yale’s School of Medicine in 1993, rising to the rank of Professor of Pharmacology in 1999. His scholarly contributions, reported in well over 300 peer-reviewed publication and have earned Dr. Sessa numerous awards and honors in the U.S. and internationally, including the 2000 John Jacob Abel Medal in Pharmacology from American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the 2010 William Harvey Medal, the 2016 inaugural MERIT award from America Heart Association and 2019 Earl Benditt Award from NAVBO. He has trained over many students and fellows that have made substantial contributions to science and medicine.
Dr. Sessa’s principal contributions to science revolve around how endothelial cells that line all the blood vessels in the body regulate aspects of atherosclerosis and heart disease. He has studied in detail how endothelial cells make nitric oxide (NO) as a key regulator of cardiovascular homeostasis via they detailed analysis of the enzyme, endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation. Recently he has focused on how endothelial cells regulate LDL cholesterol transport and fatty acid utilization to control vessel function normally and in cardiovascular pathologies.