Embargoed until 7 a.m. CT/ 8 a.m. ET, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14, 2016 — The American Heart Association (AHA) presented one of its highest national honors, the Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award, to Eric N. Olson, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Olson, professor and chairman of molecular biology at the UT medical center, received the award during opening ceremonies of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2016 on Sunday, Nov. 13, in the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Some 20,000 scientists, physicians and other medical professionals are attending the 76th AHA scientific conference.  Association President Steven Houser, Ph.D., of Temple University in Philadelphia presented Olson the award, a citation and $1,000 honorarium.

“Eric Olson is an exemplary academic mentor with an unsurpassed record of training successes positively impacting future careers in cardiovascular research, education and medical practice,” said Houser as he made the presentation “in recognition of Dr. Olson’s exceptional dedication and achievement as a mentor to more than 500 junior faculty members, fellows and other trainees while achieving success as a medical scientist, physician and educator.”  

Olson is widely heralded for his studies of the basic and translational sciences in cardiovascular biology. “His discoveries have fundamentally altered our understanding of the molecular basic of heart and blood vessel diseases,” Houser said. “Dr. Olson is an undisputed leader of developmental biology and medicine.”

In addition to his leadership in research, Olson is a greatly admired educator and mentor, Houser noted.  “Eric Olson began his academic mentoring when he was on the faculty at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1984. In 31 years, he has trained 42 Ph.D. students and 85 post-doctoral fellows, and he has more than 30 students currently in training.”


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