Mara Murray Horwitz, MD, MPH Receives $150K March of Dimes Research Grant

Black & white headshot of Mara Murray-Horwitz, MDMara Murray Horwitz, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine and a primary care clinician at Boston Medical Center, is one of two recipients of a $150,000 Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes. The Basil O’Connor grant is the organization’s signature grant for up-and-coming scientists embarking on lifelong research paths.

Murray Horwitz will conduct research to understand health system barriers to achieving heart health and the overall health of women who have had a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (HDP), such as preeclampsia, which affects 1 in 25 pregnancies in the U.S.  Her research will identify opportunities to improve outcomes for postpartum women, because HDPs signal that a person is at increased risk for future chronic hypertension and heart disease.

She’ll focus on an intervention called patient navigation, where women with prior HDPs receive help from a support person who checks in on them frequently, assesses and provides counseling on their health history and social needs, and helps identify and connect them with primary care providers.

Her Basil O’Connor work will set the foundation for a planned randomized controlled trial (RCT) of postpartum patient navigation set to take place in 2027.

The Basil O’Connor awards, named for the first March of Dimes chairman and president, are part of March of Dimes’ research strategy to address the multi-faceted nature of the maternal and infant health crisis with funding that supports discovery, translational and social science research, and data collection and analysis.