Boston University’s Dr. Emelia J. Benjamin named one of seven Distinguished Scientists

The American Heart Association presented one of its 2022 Distinguished Scientist awards to Emelia J. Benjamin, M.D., Sc.M., FAHA, of Boston University, at its annual Scientific Sessions conference in Chicago this weekend .

As a Distinguished Scientist, Dr. Benjamin was honored for significantly advancing the understanding of cardiovascular, stroke or brain health. She was among seven people to receive this award.

Dr. Benjamin’s research has thoroughly examined atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common heart rhythm disturbance, which is associated with stroke, heart failure and death. Her work studied the epidemiology of AFib, as well as its risk factors and complications.

Additionally, her research was among the first to demonstrate AFib — regardless of the presence of other cardiovascular disease and comorbidities — leads to increased mortality rates. Her work has been at the forefront of identifying risk factors for AFib, and it has influenced strategies to prevent the condition. Dr. Benjamin has co-led national workshops for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health that identify priorities for the future of AFib research.

Dr. Benjamin is a Robert Dawson Evans Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Boston University’s Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, a professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health and an affiliate faculty member at Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. She also serves as the associate provost for faculty development at Boston University Medical Campus and as the vice chair of faculty development and diversity in the department of medicine at Boston University.

Dr. Benjamin is also a board-certified attending cardiologist at Boston Medical Center. Additionally, at the Framingham Heart Study, she is the joint director of the medical endpoints review committee and a member of the research committee.

Dr. Benjamin earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master’s degree in epidemiology from Harvard’s School of Public Health. She earned a doctor of medicine from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Benjamin is a fellow of the Association’s Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Clinical Cardiology Council, and Genomics and Precision Medicine Council. She is also a member of the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors in Boston.

She is a well-respected researcher, who is among the Clarivate List of Highly Cited Researchers (top 1%) from 2014-2022, having been cited more than 300,000 times (more than 150,000 times in just the past five years). She has published more than 650 original peer-reviewed articles and has mentored more than 50 early-stage investigators. She serves on the international editorial board of the European Heart Journal, the advisory board of Nature Reviews Cardiology and the editorial board of the Association’s Circulation.

Dr. Benjamin has served in numerous roles and has been recognized by the Association numerous times, including a 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award in Genomics and Precision Medicine, the 2016 Population Research Prize, the 2016 Gold Heart Award and the 2015 Paul Dudley White Award. She is also a past chair Association’s Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Council and Study Section, and the annual Heart and Stroke Statistical Update.