BU researcher wins Louis and Artur Lucian Award for contributions to cardiovascular science

Vasan Ramachandran, MD, FACC, the Jay and Louise Coffman Professor in Vascular Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Louis and Artur Lucian Award, an honor bestowed annually to one researcher from around the world who has made outstanding contributions to the field of circulatory diseases.

Ramachandran, who also is Principal Investigator and Director of the Framingham Heart Study, was recognized for his findings that hypertension poses cardiovascular risks. His work has led to a lowered threshold for what constitutes high blood pressure in the U.S., shed light on the progression of borderline to high blood pressure, and provided guidance on blood pressure screening in primary care.

“Dr. Ramachandran is one of the most influential cardiovascular epidemiologists in the world, and the Lucian Prize would be fitting recognition of his singular contributions to cardiovascular science. In particular, Dr. Ramachandran’s achievements in the field of hypertension have had an undeniable impact on clinical practice and cardiovascular health,” wrote Thomas J. Wang, MD, the Donald W. Seldin Distinguished Chair in Internal Medicine, Department Chair, UT Southwestern Medical Center, in his nomination letter.

Ramachandran joined BUSM as an associate professor of medicine in 1998 and was promoted to professor in 2006. He was appointed professor of epidemiology at BU School of Public Health in 2013. Currently, he serves as chief of the section of preventive medicine and epidemiology in the department of medicine, principal investigator and director of the renowned Framingham Heart Study, with which he has been affiliated for the past 19 years, Principal iInvestigator and founder of the Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal (RURAL) cohort study, and was the founding Editor of Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

He received his medical degree from, and completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiology at, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. He is the recipient of many RO1 awards and a mid-career clinical investigator award ((K24) from the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute.

Over the last 25 years, Ramachandran has made major contributions to the genetic and non-genetic epidemiology of congestive heart failure; population-based vascular testing, echocardiography and exercise testing; the genetic and non-genetic epidemiology of high blood pressure; and cardiovascular disease risk prediction models. His many awards and honors include the BUSM’s department of medicine’s Evans Scholar and Outstanding Mentor awards in 2010; Outstanding Mentor, American Heart Association (AHA) Council on Epidemiology Prevention in 2012; and the AHA’s prestigious Population Science Award in 2014.

The Louis and Artur Lucian Award, which carries a cash award of $60,000, was established in 1978 through a bequest to McGill University under the will of the late Olga Leibovici in memory of her two brothers. One goal of the award is to increase collaborative research between McGill and research centers elsewhere in Canada, the United States and other countries. Toward this, it is expected that Ramachandran will give a formal Lucian Lecture at McGill University and meet with members of the McGill community in the spring of 2022 as well as undertake a research collaboration with McGill investigators working in the field of circulatory diseases.

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