DALLAS, Oct. 25, 2022 — Bruce Ovbiagele, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.S., M.B.A., M.L.S., FAHA, has been named the new editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA), a peer-reviewed, open access journal published online by the American Heart Association, effective Jan. 1, 2023. He succeeds previous Editor-in-Chief Barry London, M.D., Ph.D., who has led the journal since November 2014. JAHA is an online-only journal that publishes articles individually as they are accepted and compiles articles into 24 issues a year, twice each month.

“In 2014, Dr. Barry London stepped in and took the helm of JAHA, the first open access journal devoted to cardiovascular disease and brain health, and he continued to build on the vision of founding editor-in-chief Dr. Joseph A. Vita. As JAHA celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, we are so grateful to Dr. London for his exemplary leadership that has been instrumental in JAHA’s outstanding growth, now ranking in the top 30% of 143 journals in the Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems category,” said Eldrin F. Lewis, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA, chair of the American Heart Association’s Scientific Publishing Committee, which oversees the Association’s 14 peer-reviewed scientific journals. “I’m proud to announce Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele as the new editor-in-chief for JAHA, effective January 1, 2023. Under Bruce’s leadership, I know the journal will continue to flourish in sharing the latest discoveries in cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention and treatment.”

Dr. Ovbiagele is a clinical epidemiologist, neurologist and global health scholar focused on reducing the burden of stroke in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa. His work in the United States led to the discovery that middle-aged women experience stroke at three times the rate of men the same age, and additional research linked those stroke rates to the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Dr. Ovbiagele calls attention to adopting healthier lifestyles as a means of stroke prevention, among its many other benefits.

Internationally, he pioneered large scale studies in Africa that aimed to improve post-stroke outcomes and reduce barriers to care. He helped identify genetic variables that correlate with an increased likelihood of experiencing stroke for indigenous Africans. The first stroke prevention and control law enacted in Nigeria was based on Dr. Ovbiagele’s work to identify contextual stroke risk factors and develop awareness of stroke in the community. He is currently leading studies in Africa to improve clinical outcomes and reduce regional and racial disparities in stroke via the use of mobile health-based technology, workforce task-shifting and polypill medication formulations. His efforts are focused on making an impact where there is high penetration of mobile health in many under-resourced areas, physician brain drain in low-income countries and the need for cost-effective, population-based strategies to prevent stroke in disparate populations.

Dr. Ovbiagele is a board-certified vascular neurologist and a professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Weill Institute for Neurosciences. He is also associate dean and chief of staff at the San Francisco Veteran Affairs Health Care System (SFVAHCS). Additional roles include serving as a professor at four colleges abroad: University of Ibadan in Nigeria (medicine); Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana (medicine); Capital Medical University/Xuan Wu Hospital in China (neurology); and Favaloro University/Instituto de Neurologia Cognitiva in Argentina (neurology).

“I’m excited to take on the role of editor-in-chief of JAHA,” said Dr. Ovbiagele. “With JAHA, I hope to leverage a stellar editorial team and promising publishing technologies to the benefit of the science, scientists and society, and the goal of creating a world of longer, healthier lives. However, leaving no one behind as we make and disseminate key scientific advances is crucial, and fostering a more equitable environment is something I have always been passionate about. The Association has done a lot of work to promote equity, and I’m thrilled to lead the journal into its next phase of growth as a well-respected international source of peer-reviewed cardiovascular research.”

Dr. Ovbiagele earned a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Lagos. He also earned a Master of Science in clinical research from the University of California, Los Angeles; a Master of Advanced Studies in health care leadership management from the University of California, San Diego; a Master of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts; and a Master of Law from Washington University, St. Louis. Dr. Ovbiagele completed his residency in neurology at the University of California, Irvine, and a fellowship in vascular neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining UCSF and SFVAHCS in 2018, he was a professor and chair of the department of neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Ovbiagele is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and Association of American Physicians, as well as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and he has published more than 600 peer-reviewed research articles. His research and work have been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2022 Audrey Penn Award and Lectureship from the American Neurological Association, the 2022 Meritorious Achievement Award from the National Medical Association, the 2022 Robert Wartenberg Award and Lectureship from the American Academy of Neurology and the 2022 Mridha Spirit of Neurology Humanitarian Award from the American Brain Foundation. Dr. Ovbiagele is listed in the 2022 global edition of 100 Nigerians Leading Transformational Change, from CHANGEMAKERS: Profiles and Biographies. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Stroke, the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases and the Journal of Neurological Sciences.

From 2016-2018, Dr. Ovbiagele served as the chair of the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference, a premier meeting of stroke professionals from around the world, and previously served as an associate editor for the Association’s journal Stroke, a leading journal in the field. He was previously recognized by the Association with the 2021 Stroke Council Award and Lectureship, the 2021 Ron Haddock International Impact Award and the 2021 William Feinberg Award and Lectureship.

Studies published in the American Heart Association’s scientific journals are peer-reviewed. The statements and conclusions in each manuscript are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association’s policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, device manufacturers and health insurance providers and the Association’s overall financial information are available here.

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The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public's health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


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