New York City scientist wins American Heart Association award for major additions to knowledge of artery disease process, treatments
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 4, 2012 – The American Heart Association presented its Research Achievement Award to Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City “for his significant and enduring contributions to a broad spectrum of cardiovascular medicine, achievements that have accelerated progress toward conquering disease.”
Fuster is physician-in-chief at Mount Sinai, director of the Cardiovascular Institute and Mount Sinai Heart Center, the Richard Gorlin, M.D./Heart Research Foundation professor and past president of the American Heart Association. He received the award, a citation and $2,500 honorarium, during the opening of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2012. Association President Donna Arnett, Ph.D., of Birmingham, Ala., made the presentation.
“With a laser-like focus on translational research, Dr. Fuster has added greatly to our understanding of the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease and thrombosis,” Arnett said.
Among his provocative findings are numerous “firsts,” she said. These include a “critical understanding” of blood platelets’ major role in artery disease including their ability to create blockages following coronary bypass surgery, and finding that those blockages can be prevented by aspirin. Fuster and his team also discovered that plaque rupture often occurs in small, apparently inactive lesions, and that plaque composition is more important than the extent of vessel narrowing in predicting a lesion’s propensity to rupture.
Research led by Fuster used MRI technology to identify high-risk plaques that are reversible by statin drugs, Dr. Arnett said. His team also demonstrated HDL cholesterol’s role in plaque reversal, and that drug-releasing stents can deter recurrence of artery blockages, she added.
“Dr. Fuster’s research has significantly elevated coronary disease knowledge and treatment, and he has worked to erase geographic barriers to progress by championing the concept that non-communicable diseases are a global problem,” she president said.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.
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