News Release

Dr. Pradeep Natarajan to receive the 2023 Joseph A. Vita Award

American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2023

Grant and Award Announcement

American Heart Association

DALLAS, Nov. 1, 2023 — The American Heart Association will present its 2023 Joseph A. Vita Award to Pradeep Natarajan, M.D., M.M.Sc., FAHA, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. This award will be presented during the opening session on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at the Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023. The meeting, to be held in Philadelphia, Saturday, Nov. 11 through Monday, Nov. 13, is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science.

The award is given annually in honor of the late cardiovascular scientist Joseph A. Vita, M.D., to recognize scientists who have led research that has had a major impact on the field of cardiovascular biology or cardiovascular health during the past five years and whose work has been published in journals of the Association. Dr. Vita was the founding editor of the Association’s Open Access, peer-reviewed, Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA). The award recipient is selected by the editors-in-chief of the Association’s 14 peer-reviewed scientific journals and celebrates work that transforms or changes the direction of cardiovascular research.

Dr. Natarajan’s research expertise focuses on the genetics behind increased risks of myocardial infarction and the naturally occurring genetic variations related to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. His notable scientific contributions include the interpretation of whole genome sequences for coronary artery disease risk, such as through polygenic risk scoring, as well as discovering new genes responsible for coronary artery disease. He has also led work advancing the relatively recent concept of acquired blood cell mutations, termed clonal hematopoiesis, which influence age-related cardiovascular conditions.

“Dr. Pradeep Natarajan’s expertise in genetic analysis extends beyond coronary artery disease to many complex cardiovascular conditions,” said the Association’s 2023-2024 volunteer President Joseph C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA. “His work using human genetics to enhance risk assessments for cardiovascular disease and discoveries in the pathology of the circulatory system is propelling the future of preventive cardiovascular medicine. Congratulations, Dr. Natarajan!”

Dr. Natarajan is the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Endowed Chair in Vascular Medicine and director of preventive cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an associate member of the medical and population genetics program at the Broad Institute of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Harvard.

“This work is the culmination of tireless efforts across numerous exceptional trainees and generous collaborators,” said Dr. Natarajan. “I am excited to innovate using increasingly novel multiomic technologies in well-phenotyped datasets, and I hope to continue translating these discoveries back toward efficiently and safely preventing cardiovascular disease. I am deeply honored to be recognized with the 2023 Joseph A. Vita Award.”

Dr. Natarajan earned a bachelor of arts in molecular and cell biology with an emphasis in biochemistry from the University of California Berkeley. He earned a doctor of medicine from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine and a master’s in biomedical informatics from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Natarajan completed a medical internship and residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His medical training concluded with a clinical fellowship in cardiovascular medicine and a research fellowship in human genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as the Broad Institute.

Dr. Natarajan is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers. He was previously honored by the Association with the Laennec Young Clinician Award in 2012, and in 2022 with the Jeffrey M. Hoeg Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Award for Basic Science and Clinical Research. In 2019, his genomic discoveries related to venous thrombosis disease and peripheral artery disease were named by the Association as among the year’s top heart and stroke advances. He serves on the editorial boards of multiple peer-reviewed scientific journals: an editorial board member of Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine; an associate editor of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): Cardiology; and an associate editor of Science Advances.

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The American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023 is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care professionals worldwide. The three-day meeting will feature more than 700 sessions focused on breakthrough cardiovascular basic, clinical and population science updates Saturday, Nov. 11 through Monday, Nov. 13, 2023. Thousands of leading physicians, scientists, cardiologists, advanced practice nurses and allied health care professionals from around the world will convene in Philadelphia to participate in basic, clinical and population science presentations, discussions and curricula that can shape the future of cardiovascular science and medicine, including prevention and quality improvement. During the three-day meeting, attendees receive exclusive access to more than 4,000 original research presentations and can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Education (CE) or Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credits for educational sessions. Engage in Scientific Sessions 2023 on social media via #AHA23.


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.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

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