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NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14, 2016 — The American Heart Association (AHA) awarded its Basic Research Prize for 2016 to Chicago cardiologist and researcher Elizabeth M. McNally, M.D., Ph,D., “for ground-breaking investigations of novel genetic mechanisms responsible for inherited human disorders including heart failure, cardiomyopathy, muscular dystrophy, arrhythmias and aortic aneurysms.” 

McNally, Elizabeth J. Ward Professor of Genetic Medicine and professor and director, Division of Cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, received the prize on Sunday, Nov., 13, during the opening of AHA’s Scientific Sessions 2016 at the New Orleans Ernest N Morial Convention Center.  AHA President Steven Houser, Ph.D., of Temple University in Philadelphia, presented the prize, a citation and $5,000 honorarium for outstanding achievement in basic cardiovascular science.

Houser said the Chicago scientist is recognized for her integration of molecular and cellular biology with genetically engineered models of disease and human genomics, leading to the discovery of novel mechanisms of disease and the identification of new therapeutic targets.

 “Importantly, her laboratory created the first genetically engineered model of cardiomyopathy   

and muscular dystrophy,” Houser said. “This model closely parallels what is seen in humans with the same mutation.”  McNally’s group also has generated several other animal models with a similar constellation of heart and muscle disease, AHA’s president noted.

McNally has been honored twice previously by the AHA, receiving both an Established Investigator Award and the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Distinguished Scientist Award.

“Clearly, Dr. Elizabeth McNally is an extraordinary physician-scientist, educator and mission advocate,” Houser said. “Her highly promising studies hold great potential for making important inroads into the worldwide scourge of cardiovascular diseases.”  


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