Emelia J. Benjamin, MD, ScM, FACC, FAHA, professor of medicine in the section of cardiovascular medicine at Boston University (BU) Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine and professor of epidemiology at BU School of Public Health, is the recipient of this year’s Honorary Fellow of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology award.
As part of this honor, she delivered the honorary Fellow Award Lecture, “The Imperative to Focus on the Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation,” in which she described the increasing prevalence of the condition, how to predict its occurrence and how to prevent its onset and complications. She called for preventive cardiologists to focus on the prevention of atrial fibrillation at all stages of the condition.
Benjamin, a cardiologist at Boston Medical Center, also delivered the opening keynote R.T. Hall Lecture at the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting with the presentation, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – preventing atrial fibrillation and its complications.” She emphasized that in Australia as well as the U.S. there are profound health care inequities in the onset and complications of atrial fibrillation in individuals who are structurally disadvantaged. She received honors for her extraordinary contributions to the field of preventive cardiology.
Benjamin, who also is an investigator of the Framingham Heart Study, is one of the most highly cited researchers in clinical medicine with more than 800 publications and a continuous record of substantial National Institutes of Health grant support since 1998. Her expertise in the epidemiology of atrial fibrillation has helped elucidate the risk factors and mechanisms that underlie the development of the abnormal heart rhythm.
In addition to her research, Benjamin is known for an exemplary devotion to teaching and mentoring. She has guided numerous young investigators and faculty members on research projects and has been a mentor for more than 50 individuals, most of whom have been highly successful in academic health sciences. She serves as associate provost of faculty development at Boston University Medical Campus and has designed and implemented eight longitudinal faculty development programs.
She has won national and institutional awards for research, education, mentoring, and diversity. In 2020 she received the Alliance in Academic Internal Medicine Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award, in 2021 she was inducted into the Association of American Physicians. At Boston University she received the Department of Medicine’s Excellence in Research Mentoring Award in 2011.
She has received multiple awards from the American Heart Association awards (AHA): the Laennec Clinician/Educator Lecture (2019), sponsored by the Council on Clinical Cardiology, which recognized her contributions and achievements in the field of clinical cardiology and the Distinguished Achievement award from the Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine (2019) for her substantial professional contributions to the field represented by the council. In addition, the AHA has awarded her the 2016 Gold Heart Award (AHA’s highest award), 2015 Paul Dudley White Award, the 2013 Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Council Mentoring Award, the 2012 Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award, and the AHA Distinguished Scientist Award (AHA’s highest science award). She also received the Eric N. Prystowsky, MD Advocate for Patients Award from StopAfib.