Engagement 365: Member Spotlight

Emelia J Benjamin, MD, ScM

Emelia J. Benjamin, MD, ScM, FAHA

My involvement in AHA has truly had a transformative influence on my career.

  • Professional wellbeing
    It is deeply meaningful to connect with volunteers from around the country and to have the opportunity to work on mutual interests.
    I have developed many enduring friendships as a result of the opportunity to work on shared passions.

  • Networking
    Early in my career, I met leaders in the field who became my mentors, sponsors, and promotion letter writers. Later in my career I have had the tremendous joy of being able to pay it forward as I mentor and sponsor early career colleagues, including nominations for FAHA.

  • Service
    An critical component of a successful career is serving the broader community. Nationally, I have served on multiple committees, learning about AHA, and learning from AHA staff and volunteers. In Boston, I have learned a great deal from the opportunity to be on the Boston Board, connecting with volunteers from other sectors.
    I have enjoyed raising money for AHA by being a top Heart Walker for years, which has allowed me to contribute to the funding of the research, advocacy, and DEIA work so central to AHA’s mission.

  • Science
    By virtue of Chairing a study section I met a collaborator, Lesley H. Curtis PhD, of Duke University. I was impressed with her insights and energy and asked her to collaborate on what turned out to be a highly productive Multi-PI grant (5R01HL102214). We also developed a lifelong friendship as a result.
    Many investigators get their first grant from AHA. Late to the party, my first AHA grant was an AHA Atrial Fibrillation Strategically Focused Research Network, which has been productive and a source of wonderful science, collaborators, and friendships.

  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. DEIA
    By virtue of my involvement in AHA I have had the honor to participate on DEIA committees and writing statements, allowing me to passionately advocate for workforce and health DEIA.
    In addition, I have had the honor of being the BU Site-PI of the AHA Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, an AHA DEIA Pathway program, which is fostering the careers of the next generation.

I am grateful that my family, including my husband and children, and my Boston University and Boston Medical Center colleagues have been very supportive of my AHA involvement.

Dr. Benjamin has served the AHA in multiple roles. She has been the Associate Editor of Circulation Journal, chair of multiple committees and served on the Council Operations Committee. She has also received multiple awards including the Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Council Mentoring Award, the AHA’s Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award, The Boston University Department of Medicine’s Excellence in Research Mentoring Award and the Paul Dudley White Award. Dr. Benjamin has also been awarded two of AHA’s highest honors; the Gold Heart Award and AHA Distinguished Scientist.