Gladstone founder receives American Heart Association Distinguished Scientist Award

November 15, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--November 15, 2011--The American Heart Association will today present Gladstone Institutes Senior Investigator and President Emeritus Robert Mahley, MD, PhD, with the 2011 AHA Distinguished Scientist Award, bestowing yet another honor on one of Gladstone's founding cardiovascular scientists.

The Distinguished Scientist Award is the highest honor that the American Heart Association can give a scientist. Dr. Mahley is one of just five scientists this year--and the first from Gladstone--to receive the award. He will receive the award today during the annual AHA Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla.

Dr. Mahley, who founded Gladstone in 1979 before serving as its president for 30 years, is an internationally recognized expert on heart disease, cholesterol metabolism and, more recently, Alzheimer's disease. Early in his career, Dr. Mahley discovered the existence of apoE, a protein that transports cholesterol and helps to regulate cholesterol levels in the blood. After his arrival at Gladstone, he developed an understanding of the critical role that apoE plays in heart disease. This, in turn, laid the groundwork for the explosion of research related to apoE4, a detrimental type of apoE that is found in 1 in 4 Americans. Today, many scientists believe that apoE4 is linked to brain-cell injury and the progression of Alzheimer's disease, a devastating neurodegenerative disease that is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

"Dr. Mahley has long been an exemplar of excellence in cardiovascular research," said Dr. Garret FitzGerald, chair of the American Heart Association's Distinguished Scientists Selection Committee. "His penetrating insights and discoveries around apoE have shaped the field, influencing research in both cardiovascular biology and neurodegenerative disease. He is well deserving of this prestigious and exclusive award."

The American Heart Association, an organization that is committed to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, presents the AHA Distinguished Scientist Award to those who have had a significant and lasting impact on the fields of cardiovascular research and medicine. Previous recipients of the award include Nobel laureates Roger Tsien, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego and Martin Chalfie, PhD, from Columbia University.

"Dr. Mahley's life-long commitment to finding ways to prevent, treat and cure disease has been an inspiration to Gladstone scientists for decades," said R. Sanders Williams, MD, president of Gladstone. "We can think of no better choice for the AHA Distinguished Scientist Award than Gladstone's founding president."

Throughout his career, Dr. Mahley has championed the value of "basic" research--in which scientists focus on advancing our fundamental understanding of biology--to develop cutting-edge treatments that improve human health. He recently developed the Gladstone Center for Translational Research to facilitate the movement of aspects of Gladstone's basic research into therapies that can directly benefit patients. Dr. Mahley--who is also a professor of pathology and medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, with which Gladstone is affiliated--today continues to explore the exact role of apoE4 in Alzheimer's. Specifically, he is examining how apoE4 could be modified so as not to influence the progression of this deadly disease.

Several other preeminent organizations have also recognized Dr. Mahley for his contributions to science and medicine. For example, he has been elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, two of the highest honors available for U.S. scientists. He also recently received the Builders of Science Award from Research!America for his leadership at Gladstone, which he helped guide into one of the world's leading independent research institutes.
-end-
About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke--America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. It teams with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.

About the Gladstone Institutes

Gladstone is an independent and nonprofit biomedical-research organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discovery and innovation to prevent illness and cure patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, or viral infections. Gladstone is affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco.

Gladstone Institutes

Related Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery.

New 'atlas' of human heart cells first step toward precision treatments for heart disease
Scientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published in the journal Nature.

With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently
A new study by researchers from McGill University has uncovered that minerals causing aortic heart valve blockage in men and women are different, a discovery that could change how heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

Heart-healthy diets are naturally low in dietary cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.

Pacemakers can improve heart function in patients with chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research has shown that treating chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with commercially available cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivered through a surgically implanted defibrillator or pacemaker can significantly improve patient outcomes.

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.

Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Read More: Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.