(Boston)—Emelia J. Benjamin, MD, ScM, FACC, FAHA, professor of medicine in the section of cardiovascular medicine at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine and professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, is the recipient of the 2023 Wenger Award for Excellence in Medical Research from WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.
Benjamin was selected because of her commitment to improving the lives of women living with or at risk for heart disease as well as her countless peer-reviewed articles on cardiovascular disease that have contributed greatly to women’s heart health, particularly to the knowledge of atrial fibrillation. She also was recognized for her work to diversify research, including her efforts to recruit a more diverse cohort of the Framingham Heart Study, where she is an investigator, and as a mentor to early-career scientists.
Also a cardiologist at Boston Medical Center, Benjamin is one of the most highly cited researchers in clinical medicine with more than 800 publications and a continuous record of substantial National Institutes of Health funding since 1998. Her expertise in the epidemiology of atrial fibrillation has helped elucidate the risk factors and mechanisms that underlie the development of the abnormal heart rhythm.
In addition to her research, Benjamin is known for an exemplary devotion to teaching and mentoring. Cultivating the next generation, she has guided numerous young investigators and faculty members on research projects and has been a mentor for more than 50 individuals, most of whom have been highly successful in academic health sciences. She serves as associate provost for faculty development at Boston University Medical Campus and has designed and implemented eight longitudinal faculty development programs.
She has won national and institutional awards for research, education, mentoring and diversity. In 2020 she received the Alliance in Academic Internal Medicine Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, and was inducted into the Association of American Physicians in 2021. At Boston University she received the Department of Medicine’s Excellence in Research Mentoring Award in 2011.
She has received multiple awards from the American Heart Association awards (AHA): the Laennec Clinician/Educator Lecture (2019), sponsored by the Council on Clinical Cardiology, which recognized her contributions and achievements in the field of clinical cardiology and the Distinguished Achievement award from the Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine (2019) for her substantial professional contributions to the field represented by the council. In addition the AHA has awarded her the 2016 Gold Heart Award (AHA’s highest award), 2015 Paul Dudley White Award, the 2013 Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Council Mentoring Award, the 2012 Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award, and the AHA Distinguished Scientist Award (AHA’s highest science award). She also received the Eric N. Prystowsky, MD Advocate for Patients Award from StopAfib.
WomenHeart’s mission is to improve the lives of women with or at risk for heart disease, while fighting for equity in heart health.