Embargoed until 5 a.m. CT / 6 a.m. ET on Monday, November 12, 2018
CHICAGO, Nov. 12 – The American Heart Association (AHA) has presented its Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award to Robert M. Califf, M.D., of the Duke University School of Medicine, “for his intense dedication to the successful teaching and mentoring of a legion of trainees and clinicians who have gone on to engage in a worldwide assault on cardiovascular diseases through the integration of research, education and clinical practice.”
Califf, vice chancellor for health data science at Duke, recently rejoined the university after working in the nation’s government that included serving as Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2016-17. He received the AHA honor 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.
AHA President Ivor Benjamin, M.D., of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee presented the mentoring award.
“Throughout an exemplary career, Dr. Califf has demonstrated his absolute commitment to the complementary missions of advancing understanding of clinical and translational research, increasing knowledge of all aspects of cardiovascular disease, and integrating research and clinical practice,” Benjamin said in presenting the award.
“As an educator, he has consistently dedicated significant amounts of time to teaching his students individually in order to understand and improve upon their personal strengths while overcoming weaknesses,” AHA’s President said. “His devotion to teaching and fostering the careers of young trainees is one of his most notable, and admirable, assets.”
Benjamin said the full extent of Califf’s impact as an academic mentor is revealed in these impressive numbers: “During his career he has mentored, guided and advised scores of medical students, house staff and fellows. He has also helped to create an expanded learning environment through the globalization of the clinical trials and outcomes improvement effort. Among the beneficiaries of his personal guidance are medical practitioners, professors as well as academic and institutional leaders,” AHA’s leader said.
“Further expanding the reach of his influence, Dr. Califf has been pivotal in the development of several world-class training and career development programs,” Benjamin said. These include the Duke Clinical Research Institute Research Fellowship Training Program, “a unique effort” to cultivate future teachers in clinical research, and the University of North Carolina-Duke Collaborative Post-Doctoral Training Program, a cooperative effort to prepare clinician-scientists for academic, industrial or regulatory careers.
“Throughout more than three decades of academic leadership and widely acclaimed clinical research, Robert Califf has maintained an absolute commitment to the enhanced understanding of the field of cardiology disease, its causes, and new ways to conquer its consequences,” Benjamin continued. “He has steadfastly dedicated time to teach and support his students individually in a program of high-quality mentorship.”
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