Dr. Ruth McPherson, an active CARDIoGRAM participant and a co-author on the interferon biomarker study, was honoured by the AHA Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) with its Special Recognition Award. Dr. McPherson, a tireless clinician and scientist, directs the Atherogenomics Laboratory and the Lipid Clinic at the Heart Institute and is a leading figure in the world of cholesterol research and practice. She played a central role in the discovery of the 9p21 risk variant and helped to set the Canadian cholesterol diagnosis and treatment guidelines, about which she spoke at the conference.
A Heart Institute researcher at a much different place in her career was also recognized by the ATVB Council. Branka Vulesevic was nominated for Outstanding Research by an Early Career Investigator for her work addressing compromised vascular growth in patients with diabetes. Some 80 per cent of diabetes mortality is due to heart disease and stroke. Diabetes hinders the body’s ability to repair or grow new blood vessels. Vulesevic has found that increased production of a certain enzyme can overcome this deficit, opening the door to possible therapies. The research is currently under review for publication.