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Volunteer Structure

Volunteer scientists establish and direct the American Heart Association's research policies and programs. In partnership with science volunteers, AHA staff provide administrative support to implement the plans.

The AHA Research Committee and Subcommittees are composed of research volunteers nominated by affiliates and scientific councils. The AHA Research Committee ensures that all research award programs are administered according to published standards. The AHA Research Committee recommends research policy for the association, ensures quality peer review through a consistent process and evaluates program success.

Subcommittees, made up of AHA Research Committee members and other volunteers, are responsible for the oversight of:

  • Maintaining a progressive portfolio of award offerings
  • Recommending allocation of funds based upon program priorities and the scientific merit of applications.
  • Long-range planning.
  • Topics relevant to the scientific community.
  • Strategic partnerships with other organizations.

Peer Review Committees with expertise in particular scientific areas conduct the actual evaluation of scientific merit of research applications.

Peer Review Committees include scientist volunteers who have experience in biomedical, clinical, population, and translational research. The chairman and co-chairman of each committee are responsible for recruiting members familiar with the science that will be reviewed. All association Peer Review Committees must adhere to association-wide standards established for peer review.

One element of the AHA’s strategic research direction is the inclusion of lay reviewers to the peer review process.  A lay reviewer may be assigned to assess an application’s potential impact on the AHA mission.  Lay reviewers are individuals without formal training as scientists who have strong interest in advancing the prevention and/or management of heart diseases and stroke and assisting in review of American Heart Association research applications.

2018-19 AHA Research Committee

Joseph Wu, MD, PhD
Stanford Cardiovascular Institute

Brooke Aggarwal, EdD, MS, CHES
Associate Research Scientist
Columbia University Medical Center

Matthew Allison MD, MPH, FAHA
Professor & Interim Chief
University of California, San Diego

Mary Ann Bauman, MD
Medical Director

Sonal Bhatia, MD
Vice President
Pfizer Innovative Healt

Maria C. Carrillo, PhD
Chief Science Officer
Alzheimer's Association

Esa Davis, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Director, UPMC Tobacco Treatment
Associate Professor of Medicine & Clinical and Translational Science
University of Pittsburgh

Meredith Fort, PhD, MPH
Research Assistant Professor
Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health
Colorado School of Public Health

David C. Goff Jr., MD, PhD
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

R. Ariel Gomez, MD, FAHA
Harrison Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Biology
University of Virginia School of Medicine

Adrian Hernandez, MD, MPH
Duke Clinical Research Institute

Steven R. Houser, PhD, FAHA
President, AHA
Professor, Temple University

Daniel W. Jones, MD
Former Chancellor
University of Mississippi Medical Ctr

Miyong Kim, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAHA
Associate Vice President, Community Health Engagement - University of Texas at Austin
La Quinta Centennial Endowed Professor
University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing

Walter J. Koroshetz, MD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

William Mahle MD, FAHA
Children’s Healthcare of Atlant

Keisa W. Mathis, PhD, FAHA
Assistant Professor
University of North Texas Health Science Center

Kristin Newby, MD, MHS, FACC, FAHA
Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
Duke University Medical Center

William H. Roach, Jr.
Retired Partner
McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Carlos J. Rodriguez, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA
Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Medicine
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Mintu Turakhia, MD, MAS, FHRS FACC, FAHA
Associate Professor of Medicine, Stanford University
Executive Director, Stanford Center for Digital Health
Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System

Thomas J. Wang, MD
Friesinger Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute


2018-19 Research Subcommittees


William H. Roach, Jr., MS, JD

Retired Partner
McDermott Will & Emery, LLP

Vice Chairperson:
Sean M. Wu, MD, PhD, FACC

Cardiovascular Institute of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

Myron Hinsdale, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Physiological Sciences Center for Veterinary Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

Michael Kalichman, PhD
Research Ethics Program
University of California, San Diego

Lay Stakeholder:
Debra W Lockwood, BSA, MBA, CPA

President and CFO
Provident Resources Group

M. William Lensch, PhD
Dean’s Chief of Staff
Harvard Medical School

Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH, FAHA
Associate Professor of Medicine
Departments of Medicine and Genetics
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Matthew Porteus, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Pediatrics (Stem Cell Transplantation)
Stanford University School of Medicine

Rose Marie Robertson, MD, FAHA
Chief Science & Medical Officer
American Heart Association

Daniela Valdez-Jasso, PhD
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
University of California at San Diego


Thomas J. Wang, MD

Friesinger Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute

Scientific Publishing Representative
Matthew Allison, MD, MPH, FAHA

Professor and Interim Chief
Division of Preventive Medicine
Department of Family Medicine and Public Health
University of California San Diego

Scientific Publishing Representative
Gregory L. Burke, MD, MSc

Professor and Chair, Division of Public Health Sciences
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Scientific Publishing Representative
Angela Cochran

Director, Journals
American Society of Civil Engineers

Research Representative
Juan Crestenello, MD

Professor of Surgery
Director, Division of Cardiac Surgery
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Scientific Publishing Representative
Susan King, PhD

Executive Director
Rockefeller University Press

Research Representative
Celina Mei Yong, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine
Stanford University

Scientific Publishing Representative
Karen Young, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

Ex-Officio Members

Research Committee Chairperson:
Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, FAHA

Director, Stanford Cardiovascular Institute
Professor, Dept of Medicine/Cardiology & Radiology
Stanford University School of Medicine

Scientific Publishing Committee Chairperson:
N. A. Mark Estes, III, MD

Professor of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine
Director, New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center
Tufts Medical Center


L. Kristin Newby, MD, MHS, FACC, FAHA

Professor of Medicine, Cardiology
Co-Director, Duke Cardiac Care Unit
Duke University Medical Center

Norrina Allen, PhD

Assistant Professor
Preventive Medicine -- Epidemiology
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Russell DeBose-Boyd, PhD
Professor of Molecular Genetics
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Jonathan Butler, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
Department of Medicine- Cardiology
University of California, San Francisco

Owen McCarty, PhD, FAHA
Professor and Interim Chair
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Oregon Health & Science University

Timothy A. McKinsey, PhD
Associate Professor
School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
University of Colorado, Denver

Lay Stakeholder:
Deby Pitts

Urban Muse

John J. Ryan, MD, FACC, FAHA
Associate Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine
University of Utah School of Medicine

Omaida C. Velazquez, MD, FACS
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Stella L. Volpe, PhD, RD, LDN, FACSM
Professor and Chair
Department of Nutrition Sciences
Drexel University


Miyong Kim, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAHA

Associate Vice President, Community Health Engagement
La Quinta Centennial Endowed Professor,
School of Nursing
University of Texas at Austin

Lay Stakeholder:
Rita Hernandez-Figi

Vice President of Human Resource Services

Eldrin F. Lewis, MD, MPH, FACC
Associate Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

G. Paul Matherne MD, MBA
Dammann Professor of Pediatrics
Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs
Associate Chief Medical Officer
University of Virginia Children’s Hospital

Louise D. McCullough, MD, PhD
Roy M. & Phyllis Gough Huffington Distinguished Chair
Chief of Neurology, Memorial Hermann Hospital – Texas Medical Center (TMC)
Co-director, Mischer Neuroscience Institute
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston McGovern Medical School

Paul Muntner, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair
Department of Epidemiology
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Marco Perez, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Stanford University Medical Center

Erika Piedras-Rentería, PhD
Associate Professor
Cell & Molecular Physiology
Loyola University Chicago

Kathryn Sandberg, PhD
Director, CSD
Professor, Nephrology & HTN
PhD Program Director, Physiology
Georgetown University Medical Center



Steven R. Houser, PhD, FAHA

AHA Past President
Senior Associate Dean, Research
Goodfriend Endowed Chair, Cardiovascular Research
Chair & Professor, Physiology Director, Cardiovascular Research Center
Professor of Medicine
Temple University

Brooke Aggarwal, EdD, MS, CHES

Associate Research Scientist
Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
Columbia University Medical Center

Michelle A. Albert, MD, MPH
University of California San Francisco

Associate Chief Nursing Officer
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Office of Nursing Research and Innovation
Cleveland Clinic Health System

Joey V. Barnett, PhD
Vice Chair & Professor
Director of the Office of Medical Student Research
Assistant Dean of Physician-Researcher Training
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Ivor J. Benjamin, MD, FAHA, FACC
President, American Heart Association
Director, Cardiovascular Center
Medical College of Wisconsin

Courtney Griffin, PhD
Cardiovascular Biology Research Program Member
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Elizabeth O. Harrington, PhD
Professor and Associate Dean
Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
Brown University, Providence VAMC

Robert Harrington, MD, FAHA
President-elect, American Heart Association
Arthur L. Bloomfield Professor of Medicine Chairman, Department of Medicine
Stanford University

Eldrin F. Lewis, MD, MPH
Associate Professor
Harvard Medical School Brigham & Women’s Hospital Cardiovascular Division

Jamie Lohr, MD
Associate Professor
Department. of Pediatric Cardiology
University of Minnesota

Erin Michos, MD, MHS
Associate Professor of Medicine
John Hopkins Hospital School of Medicine

Priscilla Pemu, MBBS, MSCR, FACP
Professor & Director of Clinical Trials
Morehouse School of Medicine

Sharon N. Poisson, MD
Associate Professor and Co-Director
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado School of Medicine

James J. Postl
Chairman of the Board
American Heart Association

Carlos Rodriguez, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA
Associate Professor
Epidemiology and Medicine (Cardiology)
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Alvin L. Royse, JD, CPA
Immediate Past Chairman, AHA
Hillsborough, California City Council Member
(Retired Partner, Deloittee & Touche, LLP)

Nerses Sanossian, MD, FAHA
Associate Professor
University of Southern California

Devita Stallings, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor
St. Louis University School of Nursing

Sean D. Stocker, PhD FAHA
Professor and Director of Research
University of Pittsburgh Hypertension Center
Division of Renal-Electrolyte
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Omaida C. Velazquez, MD, FACS
Professor and Chair
University of Miami
Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

John J. Warner, MD, FAHA
Immediate Past President, American Heart Association
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Joseph Wu, MD, PhD
Director and Professor
Chair of AHA Research Committee
Stanford University School of Medicine



Adrian F. Hernandez, MD, MHS, FAHA

Professor of Medicine Duke University Medical Center
Director, Health Services & Outcomes
Research Faculty Associate Director
Duke Clinical Research Institute

Richard Becker, MD, FAHA

Professor of Medicine
Director, UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute

Marco Brotto, BSN, MS, PhD
Professor & Director
School of Nursing & Health Innovation
University of Texas at Arlington

Maria Rosa Costanzo, MD, FAHA, FACC, FESC
Medical Director
Advocate Heart Institute
Edward Hospital Center for Advanced Heart Failure

John Flack, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine and Chair Term: 2016-2019
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Paul Heidenreich, MD, MS
Professor and Vice Chair
Department of Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

William Mahle, MD, FAHA
Professor of Pediatrics
Director, Cardiovascular Clinical Research Program Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Seema Mital, MD, FACC, FAHA, FRCPC
Professor of Pediatrics
Head of Cardiovascular Research
Senior Scientist
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

William H. Roach, Jr., MS, JD
Retired Partner
McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Mark K Santillan, MD, PhD, FACOG, FAHA
Assistant Fellowship Director
Assistant Professor of Ob/Gyn
Clinical Research Director
University of Iowa Healthcare
Carver College of Medicine

Russell P. Tracy, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Sr. Associate Dean
Larner College of Medicine
University of Vermont

Daniela Valdez-Jasso, PhD
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
University of Illinois at Chicago