On August 16, 2014, we named Dr. David E. Winchester the twelfth "Stop Heart Disease Researcher of the Year" at the annual meeting of the Florida Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. The event was held at Disney's Boardwalk Conference Center in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Dr. Winchester is an Assistant Professor in the University of Florida Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, with active research projects on the management of acute chest pain in the emergency department and appropriate use of nuclear stress testing. A primary focus of Dr. Winchester's research is on reducing unnecessary medical tests. In addition to his impressive research accomplishments, Dr. Winchester is a dedicated teacher and mentor for residents, fellows, and medical students. Heart failure currently afflicts 6 million Americans and is the leading cause of heart death. Each year, in collaboration with the Florida Chapter of the American College of Cardiology, we award the Stop Heart Disease Researcher of the Year award, a $25,000 grant to an individual within the State of Florida whose research is felt to have had the broadest impact on the advancement of knowledge in the diagnosis and/or treatment of cardiovascular disease.
To be considered for the award, the researcher must be nominated by a colleague, conduct research within and be a resident of Florida, be active in the arena of clinical and/or basic science, and have reported the results of his or her work in the peer review arena of scientific meetings and/or publications. For his achievements in cardiovascular research, Dr. Winchester received $25,000 from the Florida Heart Research Institute to be applied toward future cardiac research in Florida.
Florida Heart Research Institute is committed to stopping heart disease through research, education and prevention. We have a proud tradition of innovative research and currently focus on those areas of cardiovascular research which do not have corporate or government sponsorship, but which offer the greatest promise of advancing our scientific understanding of heart disease, and of culminating in its prevention and cure.
In 2003, we launched a program to inspire and promote excellence in cardiovascular research in the State of Florida, the Stop Heart Disease Researcher of the Year Award. This prestigious $25,000 award is given annually to that Florida researcher who is determined to have the broadest impact on the advancement of knowledge in the diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention of cardiovascular disease. Florida Heart Research Institute has been very fortunate to achieve a close collaboration with the Florida Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. Members of the Chapter join the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Research Institute in the selecting from amongst the candidates.
Previous awards have inspired important progress in the critical areas of recognition and treatment of cardiovascular disease in diabetics, as well as in the role of gene variants in the therapy for congestive heart failure. Dr. Winchester joins this distinguished tradition with a clear vision of the role of research in improving people’s lives. People tend to be rather fatalistic about heart disease, accepting it without realizing that it causes countless premature deaths and a disproportionate amount of disability in people of all ages and both sexes. They may also not be aware of the wonderful new potential therapies that are now being born in the research laboratory, and how they may add years-productive, high-quality years-to the lives of so many. We need to invest today so that these future heart disease cures can arrive in the clinic tomorrow.
We support and thank our past recipients. We salute:
- Dr. Jose Pinto (2013 award winner), from Florida State University. Dr. Pinto is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Florida State University College of Medicine. He has been applying his prodigious talents and expertise in muscle biochemistry to numerous projects further exploring the mechanisms of this muscular function.
- Dr. Lena Shehadeh (2012 award winner), from the University of Miami. Dr. Shehadeh is Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami. She was recognized with this prestigious award for her innovative work on the molecular biology of atherosclerosis.
- Dr. Mauricio Cohen (2011 award winner), from the University of Miami. Dr. Cohen is an interventional cardiologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami. His major clinical and research interests include novel antithrombotic strategies, transradial cardiac interventions, and health care disparities.
- Dr. Jianquin Wei (2010 award winner), from the University of Miami. Dr. Wei was our eighth recipient of this prestigious award. Dr. Wei is an Assistant Research Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami. He is a trained invasive cardiologist and has acquired skills not only in mouse microsurgery, but also in a wide range of molecular biology techniques, enabling him to participate in, plan and coordinate all phases of research in cardiology, from transcriptional analysis to drug testing.
- Dr. Anthony Bavry (2009 award winner), from the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. Bavry was our seventh recipient of this prestigious award. He has been at the forefront of exploring the current controversy regarding stent thrombosis and the risk for stent thrombosis in drug eluting stents. His current research focuses on two areas of critical importance that require clinical attention-the most appropriate strategy for women with acute coronary syndromes, and the most appropriate management to alter the poor prognosis of patients with peripheral arterial disease.
- Dr. Richard S. Schofield (2008 award winner), from the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. Schofield was our sixth recipient of this prestigious award. His ground-breaking efforts in caring for patients with congestive heart failure address the application of advanced therapeutics. Dr. Schofield is concerned not only with advancing the science of health care, but with determining the most cost effective ways to translate that knowledge into direct patient care.
- Dr. Joy Lincoln (2007 award winner), Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology with the University of Miami. Dr. Lincoln was our fifth recipient of this prestigious award. Her ground breaking efforts in both the clinical and basic science arenas have paged the way for these advances. Most recently, her outstanding work in the molecular and cellular regulation of heart formation is groundbreaking.
- Dr. Dominick J. Angiolillo (2006 award winner), Associate Director of Cardiovascular Research at the University of Florida/Jacksonville. Dr. Angiolillo was our fourth recipient of this prestigious award. His ground-breaking efforts in both the clinical and basic science arenas have paved the way for these advances. Most recently, his outstanding work on physiology and genetics of platelet function, as well as on the mechanisms of atherosclerotic inflammation have advanced our understanding of coronary artery disease, as well as opening new vistas for potential therapies.
- Dr. Nanette Bishopric (2005 award winner), Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Bishopric was our third recipient of this prestigious award. Her ground-breaking efforts in both the clinical and basic science arenas have paved the way for these advances. Most recently, her outstanding work on the molecular biology of heart cells and their response to oxidative stress as well as the molecular and genetic mechanisms of cell death has improved our understanding of the clinical and genetic causes of sudden cardiac death.
- Dr. Daniel Pauly (2004 award winner), Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. Pauly was our second recipient of this prestigious award. His ground-breaking efforts in both clinical and basic science arenas have paved the way for these advances. Most recently, his work in the area of gene therapy and intercellular signaling mechanisms has improved our understanding and treatment of coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.
- Dr. Marco Costa (2003 award winner), assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Florida in Jacksonville. Dr. Costa was our first recipient of this prestigious award. For his achievements in cardiovascular research in both the clinical and basic science arenas have paved the way for these advances. Most recently, his work in the area of drug-eluting stents has been largely responsible for helping to make these life-saving devices a clinical reality for so many victims of heart disease.