News Release

UC San Francisco’s Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele named one of seven Distinguished Scientists

American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2022

Grant and Award Announcement

American Heart Association

Embargoed until 7 a.m. CT / 8 a.m. ET Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

DALLAS, Oct. 28, 2022 – The American Heart Association is presenting one of its 2022 Distinguished Scientist awards to Bruce Ovbiagele, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.S., M.B.A., M.L.S., FAHA, of the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs (VA) Health System. The Association honors members who have significantly advanced the understanding of cardiovascular, stroke or brain health as Distinguished Scientists. Seven 2022 Distinguished Scientist awardees will be recognized during the Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022, which will be held in person in Chicago and virtually Nov. 5-7.

Dr. Ovbiagele works internationally to advance scientific knowledge about stroke and its prevention. In Africa, he has led large scale pioneering studies that aim to improve post-stroke outcomes and reduce barriers to care. His studies have helped identify genetic variables that correlate with increased likelihood of experiencing stroke for indigenous Africans. His work was used as the foundation for stroke prevention law in Nigeria. One of his areas of research suggests a correlation between utilizing text messaging for care reminders and improved post-stroke outcomes. He is currently leading a study evaluating the efficacy of mobile health-based technology to improve clinical outcomes and reduce regional and racial disparities in stroke. In the United States, Dr. Ovbiagele’s work led to the discovery that middle-aged women experienced stroke at three times the rate of men the same age. His work linked those stroke rates to the prevalence of diabetes and obesity within those gendered groups and highlighted the health benefits of adopting healthier lifestyles as a means of prevention. Recent follow-up studies on his discovery found the gender gap in stroke prevalence is shrinking.

Dr. Ovbiagele is the associate dean and professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a board-certified vascular neurologist and the chief of staff at the San Francisco Veteran Affairs Health Care System. He also is professor at four colleges abroad: University of Ibadan in Nigeria, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, Capital Medical University/Xuan Wu Hospital in China and Favaloro University/Instituto de Neurologia Cognitiva in Argentina.

Dr. Ovbiagele earned a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Lagos. He earned a master’s in clinical research from the University of California, Los Angeles; a master’s 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’s in law from Washington University, St. Louis. Dr. Ovbiagele completed a residency in neurology at the University of California, Irvine and completed a fellowship in vascular neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Ovbiagele has published more than 600 peer-reviewed articles. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Stroke, Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases and the Journal of Neurological Sciences. He received 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, the 2022 Mridha Spirit of Neurology Humanitarian Award from the American Brain Foundation, and was included in the 2022 global edition of 100 Nigerians Leading Transformational Change from CHANGEMAKERS: Profiles and Biographies. He 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.

Dr. Ovbiagele has served in numerous leadership roles with the Association. He was recently named the new editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Heart Association beginning January 1, 2023. JAHA is an online, Open Access peer-reviewed journal. From 2016-2018, he served as the Chair of the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference, the pre-eminent stroke society meeting and is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the Association’s journal Stroke, the 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.

Additional Resources:

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

The American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022 is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science. The 3-day meeting will feature more than 500 sessions focused on breakthrough cardiovascular basic, clinical and population science updates occurring Saturday through Monday, November 5-7, 2022. Thousands of leading physicians, scientists, cardiologists, advanced practice nurses and allied health care professionals from around the world will convene virtually 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 2022 on social media via #AHA22.

About the American Heart Association

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


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