Framingham Study Director Wins American Heart Association Prize for Research Showing Risk Factors' Roles in Cardiovascular Disease
Orlando, FL, November 15, 2009 - The American Heart Association today awarded its Population Research Prize to Daniel Levy, M.D., director of the Framingham Heart Study, "for his leadership of pioneering population-based investigations that profoundly expanded our understanding of how factors including hypertension and genetics influence cardiovascular risk."
Dr. Levy, who also is credited with transforming the landmark Massachusetts study into a far-reaching, multi-disciplinary research project, received the prize during the opening ceremony of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2009 in the Orange County Convention Center.
In making the presentation, Association President Clyde Yancy, M.D., said the prize is awarded "in recognition of Dr. Levy's path-finding population-based studies that have shaped much of our thinking about the links between modifiable risk factors such as hypertension, and inherent factors such as genetics, to the development and control of cardiovascular disease."
"Over the past 25 years, epidemiological studies directed by Dr. Levy have provided solid scientific evidence of the value of incorporating modern diagnostic, imaging, and biological technologies into population-based research," Dr. Yancy said. "These studies have cut across critical aspects of cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention."
Dr. Levy joined the 61-year-old study of Framingham residents after medical training at Boston University and its affiliated hospitals. He has been the study's director since 1994.
"He has remade this historic study into a place of cutting-edge science embracing elements of basic, translational and population research," Dr. Yancy said. This included recruiting a new generation of volunteer subjects and using advanced imaging methods to gain new knowledge of the effects of aging and risk factors on cardiovascular structure and function.
World-renowned scientists honored for contributions to cardiovascular health
Six world-renowned scientists were recognized for their significant contributions to cardiovascular health at Sunday's Opening Session.
The Population Research Prize was awarded to Daniel Levy, M.D., FAHA, director of the Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. This award recognizes an individual who makes outstanding contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science and who currently heads a major population research laboratory.
Levy's accomplishments include the recruitment of a third generation of participants in the ongoing heart study and the use of imaging methods. He was the leader of a genetics consortium of 30,000 participants from around the world that identified eight novel genetic regions associated with blood pressure. He also established the SABRE CVD Initiative, which will combine a wide range of Framingham data to increase knowledge of the biology of cardiovascular diseases and for the discovery of new targets for therapy.