Cardiologist to be honored with Paul Dudley White Award at Boston Heart and Stroke Ball

The American Heart Association will present the 2024 Paul Dudley White Award to Dr. Robert E. Gerszten in recognition of his contributions to the field of cardiovascular medicine and outstanding record of mentoring the next generation of researchers, educators and health care professionals.

Dr. Gerszten is chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Herman Dana Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He will receive the award at the Boston Heart and Stroke Ball on May 4.

The Paul Dudley White Award has been presented annually since 1974 to a Boston-based medical professional who has made extraordinary contributions to cardiovascular or stroke care. It is named after one of the city’s most revered cardiologists, Dr. Paul Dudley White, a founder of the American Heart Association who is regarded as the father of preventive cardiology.

Dr. Gerszten was selected to receive this year’s award by a committee of area physicians. In choosing Dr. Gerszten, the committee praised him for his work around predicting, preventing, and treating patients with cardiovascular disease. They also credited his more than 30 years as a volunteer for the American Heart Association and his extensive record of mentorship.

Several colleagues nominated Dr. Gerszten for the award. Among them was Dr. Robert W. Yeh, a cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Smith Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In his nominating letter, Dr. Yeh commended Dr. Gerszten for dedicating his life to preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.

“He has done this through his groundbreaking research, through the mentorship of multiple generations of physician scientists, through a consistent presence at the bedside caring for critically ill patients, and through his leadership of one of the country’s premier cardiovascular divisions,” said Dr. Yeh. “He has carried out his life’s work with honesty, integrity, professionalism, grace, good humor and relentless determination.”

Dr. Gerszten’s contributions to the scientific community are extensive. He has played a significant role in our understanding of how metabolic issues impact cardiac health. His research has consistently been published in top scientific journals, and his laboratory has continually been funded by prestigious organizations including the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Gerszten has also served in various volunteer roles for the American Heart Association throughout his career. This includes participating in working groups, grant review activities, and the coordination of community-based fundraising through the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston Heart Walk team. Additionally, he has played a pivotal role in planning Scientific Sessions, an annual American Heart Association conference dedicated to highlighting the latest breakthroughs in cardiovascular research.

Dr. Gerszten is also known for being an exceptional mentor, showing an unwavering commitment to training the next generation of leaders in cardiovascular science. Colleagues credit him for fostering a collaborative work environment and for being an exemplary role model.

“Over the past year of working daily with Dr. Gerszten in a leadership capacity, I have found him to represent every single humanistic quality that I might imagine distinguished Paul Dudley White,” said Dr. Jennifer E. Ho, a cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “He cares deeply about the people around him, whether they be colleagues, trainees or patients.”

Dr. Gerszten received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University. He completed his residency at the University of Pennsylvania and his clinical fellowship in cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

He lives in Brookline with his wife Elena. He is happiest while fishing off Martha’s Vineyard, or even while losing to his two sons in tennis. His career has been deeply impacted by his parents, both of whom dedicated their lives to academic medicine as a physician educator and as a social worker.

The Boston Heart and Stroke Ball is a celebration of the year-round Heart of Boston campaign, which supports the American Heart Association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal to reduce barriers to health care access and quality. It will be held on Saturday, May 4, at the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport.

“Dr. Gerszten’s commitment to the mission of the American Heart Association has been instrumental in our efforts to ensure that every person has the opportunity to live a full, healthy life,” said Eric Green, chair of the Heart of Boston campaign and senior vice president and head of development programs at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. “We look forward to honoring his contributions to cardiology and health when we gather at the Heart and Stroke Ball in May.”

For more information about the Heart and Stroke Ball, visit or contact Rachel Adjemian, associate vice president of development, at