Boston researcher to receive Distinguished Scientist award at Scientific Sessions

The American Heart Association is presenting its 2021 Distinguished Scientist in General Preventive Medicine award to Dr. Vasan S. Ramachandran, of Boston University.

The Association designates Distinguished Scientist awards in several categories to AHA members who have significantly advanced the understanding of cardiovascular, stroke or brain health. The six 2021 Distinguished Scientist awardees will be honored at Scientific Sessions 2021, which will be fully virtual, Saturday, Nov. 13 through Monday, Nov. 15, 2021.

Dr. Ramachandran was selected for this honor because of the impact of his work on clinical practice in hypertension, and his significant contributions to the genetic and non-genetic epidemiology of high blood pressure and heart failure. He has implemented population-based vascular testing (endothelial function and arterial stiffness), echocardiography and exercise testing at scale in community-based programs. He has raised awareness of the lifetime risk for high blood pressure—examining young adult and midlife blood pressures as significant determinants of an individual’s risk for heart disease and stroke.

“Congratulations to Dr. Vasan S. Ramachandran for his seminal contributions to helping us understand the role of multi-omic biomarker approaches in risk prediction for cardiovascular disease,” said American Heart Association President Dr. Donald M. Lloyd-Jones. “We are so pleased to recognize his influential leadership in cardiovascular science.”

Dr. Ramachandran is the Jay and Louise Coffman Professor of Vascular Medicine, and chief of the preventive medicine and epidemiology section in the department of medicine, and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Boston University’s School of Medicine and School of Public Health. He is the principal investigator and founder of the Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal cohort study, a six-year research project focused on identifying why some people in the rural areas of the southeastern U.S. may live shorter and less healthy lives, particularly as it relates to heart and lung disorders. The study includes researchers from 16 universities with efforts concentrated on 10 rural counties in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi and is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Ramachandran is also the principal investigator and director of the Framingham Heart Study, which he joined in 1993 as a research fellow. He has been at Boston University School of Medicine since 1998, has been a professor of medicine since 2006 and was appointed professor of epidemiology at Boston University’s School of Public Health in 2013. Dr. Ramachandran earned his medical degree and completed his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India.

He has also served as an associate editor for Circulation and was the founding editor of Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, both of which are published by the American Heart Association. Dr. Ramachandran is currently the Berlin Institute of Health Visiting Professor at the Charité Hospital, Berlin, Germany (2020-2022) and the recipient of the Louis and Artur Lucian Award (2021) from McGill University for his contributions to cardiovascular science.

Dr. Ramachandran has received numerous NIH grants, including two mid-career clinical investigator awards from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He has mentored more than 70 clinical investigators and authored over 900 original articles in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals, with nearly 177,000 citations.