Public Release: 

BIDMC's Bruce Furie, M.D., honored as Distinguished Scientist by American Heart Association

Prestigious designation recognizes scientists who have made extraordinary contributions to cardiovascular and stroke research

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

BOSTON --- Bruce Furie, MD, Chief of the Division of Hemostasis and Thrombosis at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has been named a 2014 Distinguished Scientist by the American Heart Association (AHA).

The Distinguished Scientist Award was created 10 years ago to recognize AHA members for significant, original and sustained scientific contributions that have advanced the association's mission of "building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke." Furie is one of six recipients of this year's prestigious award and will be honored during the Opening Session at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions on November 15.

A world leader in hemostasis and thrombosis research, Furie's work spans more than 40 years and has led to pioneering discoveries in understanding the mechanisms that underlie the formation of blood clots. A leading cause of heart attack and stroke, blood clots (thrombi) account for more than half of all morbidity and mortality in the United States.

Work by the Furie laboratory has led to the discovery of P-selectin, an adhesion molecule that serves as "molecular Velcro" to capture critical white blood cells at the site of inflammation. His group also developed a novel imaging technology for witnessing thrombus formation in a living animal.

"Bruce Furie's work has provided the medical community with critically important insights into exactly how blood clots form," says BIDMC Chair of Medicine Mark Zeidel, MD. "His one-of-a-kind widefield and confocal imaging system has shown that a critical series of enzymes known for their participation in protein synthesis are also required for thrombus formation."

BIDMC Chief Academic Officer Vikas Sukhatme, MD, PhD, adds, "Dr. Furie is the quintessential translational scientist. His lab's discovery that protein disulfide isomerase [PDI] plays a critical role in blood clot formation is a prime example of how basic research can reach the patient. He and members of his group have now embarked on clinical trials to test whether PDI can serve as an improved target for a novel class of antithrombotics."

Furie received his AB from Princeton University and his MD from the University of Pennsylvania. After residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He joined the faculty of BIDMC in 1997 after 22 years on the faculty of New England Medical Center (now Tufts Medical Center) and Tufts University School of Medicine where he served as Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology.

Furie is also the recipient of the Dameshek Prize of the American Society of Hematology, a MERIT Award from the NIH and an honorary degree from Lund University in Sweden. He has served as coeditor of Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice and lead editor of Clinical Hematology-Oncology: Presentations, Diagnosis and Treatment. He served as president of the 2009 Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, and has served on the editorial boards of the journals Blood, The Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis and Molecular Medicine. He served as executive director and now is secretary general of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians and has contributed more than 300 medical and scientific papers as author or coauthor.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide.

BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, Signature Healthcare, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance, and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Senior Life and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and The Jackson Laboratory. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit http://www.bidmc.org.

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