DALLAS, Nov. 1, 2023 — The American Heart Association will present its 2023 Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award to Marc A. Pfeffer, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award will be recognized during the Presidential Session on Sunday, Nov. 12, 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 Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award is bestowed annually to an individual whose academic career has included a long-term record of successful teaching and mentoring of the next generation of faculty researchers, educators and health care professionals. It is based upon a consistent record of molding the careers of multiple individuals during a continuous academic career. The award is named for the luminary cardiologist Eugene Braunwald, and previous recipients have included some of the most prominent researchers and educators in the country, each of whom have had a lasting impact on cardiovascular care and research through their extensive mentoring of residents and fellows.
Notably, Dr. Pfeffer was recruited to Harvard Medical School and mentored by Dr. Braunwald himself. To-date, Dr. Pfeffer has directly mentored 58 professionals in various stages of their careers. Some protégés came to him as early as undergraduate college students and some as faculty physicians, with early opportunities to participate in research and craft scientific manuscripts. Many of his mentees have gone on to become attending physicians, surgeons, researchers and professors.
Dr. Pfeffer’s remarkable mentorship style includes a tailored, personal approach to meet the mentee’s career goals and guidance throughout their career to achieve those goals. Dr. Pfeffer is noted as having inspired many with an infectious enthusiasm for science; he encouraged them to always push harder, think more critically and strive for continual growth.
“Dr. Marc Pfeffer has supported clinicians and researchers in all career phases from early career through established roles,” said the Association’s 2023-2024 volunteer President Joseph C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA. “Congratulations and thank you, Dr. Pfeffer! Through your extraordinary leadership, guidance and encouragement, you have had a positive influence on the current and next generation of leaders in cardiovascular medicine.”
Dr. Pfeffer is the Distinguished Victor J. Dzau Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a senior physician in cardiovascular medicine and director of the Cardiovascular Grand Rounds program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is board certified in internal medicine and is a diplomat in cardiovascular diseases as well as a diplomat in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology. His clinical areas of interest are heart disease, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and valvular heart disease.
Included in his noteworthy career accomplishments, Dr. Pfeffer holds three U.S. patents for methods to reduce the risk of repeat myocardial infarctions and increase survival rates for people who have had heart attacks, and three European patents to reduce morbidity and mortality after myocardial infarctions. Along with Drs. Janice Pfeffer and Eugene Braunwald, he is credited with introducing the concept that the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors could increase survival rates for people who have heart attacks.
“I am deeply honored to receive the Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award from the American Heart Association,” said Dr. Pfeffer. “My nearly half a century of ongoing learning from the master, Professor Braunwald himself, underscores that mentorship is a most rewarding, unending, positive cycle.”
Dr. Pfeffer earned his bachelor’s degree from Rockford College, and a doctorate in physiology and biophysics as well as a medical doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He completed his medical residency and a fellowship in cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and then a clinical fellowship and a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School. And he completed a National Institutes of Health research fellowship on hypertension at the University of Oklahoma’s Health Sciences Center. He is the author of more than 450 peer-reviewed published research manuscripts.
Dr. Pfeffer has served in various volunteer roles with the Association throughout his career including his current role as a member of the Distinguished Scientists Selection Committee representing the Council on Clinical Cardiology. He was previously honored by the Association with the Clinical Research Prize in 2007, the James B. Herrick Award for Outstanding Achievements in Clinical Cardiology in 2013, and in 2015, he was named a distinguished scientist.
Dr. Pfeffer’s work also has been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Heart Failure Society of America in 2016, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American College of Cardiology in 2017, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Heart Failure Association of the European Congress of Cardiology in 2018, and the Gold Medal Award from the European Society of Cardiology in 2018.
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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.
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