The American Heart Association’s 2021 Clinical Research Prize to be awarded to Joseph Woo, M.D., of Stanford University

Embargoed until 7 a.m. CT / 8 a.m. ET Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021

(NewMediaWire) – November 03, 2021 – DALLAS – The American Heart Association (AHA), a global force for longer, healthier lives, will award its 2021 Clinical Research Prize to Joseph Woo, M.D., of Stanford University. He will receive the award during the Presidential Session on Sunday, Nov. 14 during the Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021. The meeting will be fully virtual, Saturday, Nov. 13 through Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, and is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care worldwide.

The Clinical Research Prize is awarded annually to recognize an individual making outstanding contributions to the advancement of clinical science relevant to the Association’s mission. Dr. Woo’s expertise as a surgeon includes thoracic aortic surgery, mitral and aortic valve repair, mechanical circulatory support and thoracic transplant. He has pioneered novel operations and minimally invasive approaches for valve repair and reconstruction. Dr. Woo was recognized with the Association’s Vivien Thomas Young Investigator Award in 1997 for his postdoctoral research fellowship in novel molecular strategies for attenuating myocardial ischemic injury. One of Dr. Woo’s recent clinical studies evaluated the long-term outcomes for patients receiving aortic or mitral valve replacement and was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study’s results demonstrated a marked reduction in mortality with a mechanical valve implant in patients up to 70 years of age, leading to changes in the AHA/ACC 2020 Valve Guidelines that impact clinical practice and hopefully improve patient survival.

“Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Woo, a renowned heart surgeon, clinical researcher and professor, on receiving the 2021 Clinical Research Prize. His innovative work has advanced the field of complex valve repair – through new techniques, technologies and approaches to care,” said Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M., FAHA, president of the Association. “We are grateful for his pioneering efforts that have led to improved outcomes for our patients and enhanced our approaches to cardiovascular care including highly coordinated, patient-centered care.”

Dr. Woo also leads the Stanford Advanced Cardiovascular Therapeutics and Surgical Biomechanics Translational Research Laboratory, which is focused on angiogenic, stem cell, and myocardial regenerative approaches to heart failure, and biomechanical engineering approaches to optimize valve repair operations and novel intracardiac device design.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be receiving this award and do so on behalf of my team of students, trainees, faculty and staff who have dedicated countless hours, years of their lives, to the tireless pursuit of scientific discovery,” said Dr. Woo. “Daily, we witness the devastation and debilitation that cardiovascular disease can inflict and the profound impact of cardiovascular therapies on saving lives and restoring health and happiness. Advances in cardiovascular care are propelled by basic science, engineering, translational and clinical investigation. Thank you to the American Heart Association. Through its noble mission, the Association nurtures vital research and educates us all on the best evidence-based approaches to heal. Our collective journey is one where we seek to reach and deliver the best possible care to all communities to build a more promising and heart healthy future.” 

Dr. Woo is the Norman E. Shumway Professor and chair of the department of cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, associate director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and an attending cardiothoracic surgeon at Stanford Hospital and Clinics and the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California. Dr. Woo is also a professor by courtesy of the department of bioengineering at the School of Engineering at Stanford University.

Dr. Woo is board certified in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he completed his internship, research residency and cardiothoracic surgical residency, as well as his research fellowship and cardiothoracic surgery fellowship. He earned his bachelor of science degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Among 15 research grants as principal investigator, Dr. Woo has been awarded three R01 research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and two research grants from the American Heart Association: one for “Endogenous Myocardial Revascularization and Repair via Endothelial Progenitor Cell Chemokinesis;” the second for “Targeted Endothelial Progenitor Cell Chemokinesis as Vasculogenic Therapy for Ischemic Cardiomyopathy.” He was also co-investigator for three additional NIH research grants, and he has four patent filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. His research includes more than 350 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed publications.

He has served in numerous volunteer roles with the Association since 2004, and he is currently a member of the Leadership Committee for the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, previously serving as chair and vice chair. He has also been a member of the Scientific Sessions Program Committee for the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia; the Leadership Committee of the Council on Functional Genomics and Translational Biology; the Scientific Publishing Committee; the Manuscript Oversight Committee; and the Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee. His leadership in the scientific community also includes various roles on committees at the National Institutes of Health, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, the American College of Cardiology, the Association for Academic Surgery, the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Society of University Surgeons.

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The American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021 is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care professionals worldwide. The three-day meeting will feature more than 500 sessions focused on breakthrough cardiovascular basic, clinical and population science updates in a fully virtual experience Saturday, Nov. 13 through Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. Thousands of leading physicians, scientists, cardiologists, advanced practice nurses and allied health care professionals from around the world will convene virtually to participate in basic, clinical and population science presentations, discussions and curricula that can shape the future of cardiovascular science and medicine, including prevention and quality improvement. During the three-day meeting, attendees receive exclusive access to more than 4,000 original research presentations and can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Education (CE) or Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credits for educational sessions. Engage in Scientific Sessions 2021 on social media via #AHA21.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


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