AHA Population Research Prize goes to Vermont medical scientist for use of “biomarkers” to expand understanding of cardiovascular disease causes

American Heart Association Meeting Report

November 12, 2018 Categories: Scientific Conferences & Meetings

Embargoed until 5 a.m. CT / 6 a.m. ET on Monday, November 12, 2018

CHICAGO, Nov. 12 – The American Heart Association has awarded its Population Research Prize for 2018 to Mary Cushman, M.D., of the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington, “for contributions to our understanding of the causes of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, venous thrombosis, stroke and risk factors for these diseases, with emphasis on understanding racial disparities.”

Cushman, professor of medicine and of pathology and laboratory medicine at UVM, received the prize on Sunday, November 11, during opening ceremonies at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians at McCormick Place convention center in Chicago. Association President Ivor Benjamin, M.D., of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, presented the prize, a citation and $5,000 honorarium. The annual prize honors important studies of cardiovascular disease patterns in populations.

“Dr. Cushman has led critically acclaimed research utilizing biomarker assessments in population studies to elucidate pathways of disease etiology for the three most common vascular diseases – coronary heart disease, stroke and venous thromboembolism - as well as their risk factors,” Benjamin said as he awarded the prize.

AHA’s President said, Cushman’s recent findings include a new understanding of the role of inflammation in cardiovascular diseases and how it relates to racial disparities in disease. “She has also shown the importance of the connection between vascular health and brain health, particularly risk factors and biomarkers pointing to age-related cognitive dysfunction.”  

Cushman also is a leader in scientific publishing and communicating science, he said.

The AHA prizewinner received her medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 1989 and joined the faculty there in 1995. 

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