Embargoed until 9 a.m. CT / 10 a.m. ET Friday, November 6, 2020

DALLAS, Nov. 6, 2020 – The American Heart Association (AHA), a global force for longer, healthier lives, will present its 2020 Population Research Prize to Michelle A. Albert, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA, professor of medicine, associate dean of admissions, and director of the CeNter for the StUdy of AdveRsiTy and CardiovascUlaR DiseasE (NURTURE Center) at the University of California, San Francisco, during next weekend’s Scientific Sessions 2020. The meeting will be held virtually, Friday, November 13 – Tuesday, November 17, 2020, and is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care worldwide.

The Population Research Prize recognizes an individual who is making outstanding contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science and who currently leads an exceptional laboratory focused on cardiovascular population research.

“As a physician, scientist and epidemiologist, Dr. Albert is engaged in cutting-edge research that combines biology with social determinants of health. Her critical work is transforming cardiovascular science and health care for global populations by addressing the biology of adversity,” said American Heart Association President Mitchell S.V. Elkind, M.D., M.S., FAAN, FAHA. “We are proud to recognize Dr. Albert’s unique achievements with the 2020 Population Research Prize. Her research has followed a bold path, and a central component of her current work focuses particularly on women and marginalized racial/ethnic groups, with a focus on health disparities and cumulative toxic stress.” 

Earlier this year, Dr. Albert received a research grant though the AHA’s COVID -19 Rapid Response Grant initiative for her new study entitled “COVID-19 Infection, African-American Women and Cardiovascular Health.” Working with the UCSF NURTURE Center and the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, her team is examining the Black Women’s Health Study cohort to understand the experiences and cardiovascular effects of COVID-19 on African-American women, a population historically at the intersection of the worst health and economic disparities in the United States. Dr. Albert is also the recipient of the 2018 American Heart Association Merit Award, a five-year research grant to support a clinical trial utilizing novel strategies aimed at cardiovascular risk reduction in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. The trial, still in progress, is focused on addressing social determinants of health through an academic community partnership with the YMCA, San Francisco.

“The conviction to devote my clinical and research career to addressing social determinants of health and structural factors that affect educational, employment and health opportunities is rooted in my ’lived experience,’” Dr. Albert stated.

“As an African-American woman in academic cardiology, the path is harrowing,” she added. “However, I have been continuously buoyed with support from my family, mentors, mentees and the incredible support of organizations such as the American Heart Association and the Association of Black Cardiologists, a national medical society for which I now serve as president. I am truly honored to be the recipient of the 2020 Population Research Award from the American Heart Association.”

Dr. Albert is a graduate of Haverford College, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She completed her internal medicine residency and was a chief medical resident at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Albert then completed a Cardiovascular Clinical and Research Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where she rose in the ranks to an associate professor in medicine. She was previously the Vivian Beaumont Allen Endowed Professor/Chair and chief of cardiology at Howard University’s College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Albert is a generous mentor of trainees and faculty nationally, and she has published over 100 peer reviewed publications, most as the lead author.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


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Michelle Kirkwood: 703-457-7838; michelle.kirkwood@heart.org

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