Emelia J. Benjamin, MD, Named AHA Distinguished Scientist

Headshot of Emelia BenjaminEmelia J. Benjamin, MD, ScM, FAHA, will receive an American Heart Association 2022 Distinguished Scientist award at the Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022 to be held Nov. 5-7. She is one of seven AHA members being recognized for significantly advancing the understanding of cardiovascular, stroke or brain health.

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. 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.

Benjamin is Robert Dawson Evans Distinguished Professor of Medicine, a professor of epidemiology and an affiliate faculty member at the Center for Antiracist Research. She serves as associate provost for faculty development at the Medical Campus and vice chair of faculty development and diversity in the department of medicine. Benjamin is 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.

Benjamin received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master’s degree in epidemiology from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She earned her MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Benjamin is a fellow of the Association’s Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Clinical Cardiology Council, and Genomics and Precision Medicine Council.

She is among the Clarivate List of Highly Cited Researchers (top 1 percent) 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.

Benjamin has been recognized by the AHA 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 of the AHA’s Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Council and Study Section, and the annual Heart and Stroke Statistical Update.