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Jeffrey Towbin, MD, executive co-director of
the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s, has won the 2013 American Heart
Association Basic Research Prize. The award recognizes outstanding
contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science and is given
annually to a scientist who heads an outstanding cardiovascular basic research
laboratory. Towbin received the award at
the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Dallas.
Towbin was the first physician/scientist
to develop a Pediatric Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure Program and the first
to develop a Cardiovascular Genetics Program. He developed and directed the
Pediatric Heart Failure / Transplant Program and the Cardiovascular Genetics
Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s in 2009, both of which are currently among the
largest and most highly referred programs in the United States.
Towbin’s work in deciphering the
genetic and acquired causes of sudden cardiac death and heart failure, either
due to heart muscle disease or cardiac rhythm disorders, has been instrumental
in advancing the understanding of these disorders. He has been responsible for
the discovery of many of the disease-causing genes and viruses responsible for
these disorders. In addition, his work on the treatment of these disorders is
helping break new ground in the care of children and young adults, “changing
the outcome” for the better for these children and families.
In awarding the prize, Mariell Jessup, MD,
president of the American Heart Association, called Towbin “a highly
accomplished pioneer in the fight at the molecular level to banish
cardiovascular disease in children. In the late 1980s, Dr. Towbin was a pioneer
is adapting molecular genetic methods to address the underlying causes and
outlook for pediatric heart failure patients. He conducted some of the first
genetic mapping and gene identification studies for dilated and hypertrophic
cardiomyopathies and other arrhythmia disorders including sudden death
Towbin has published
approximately 450 peer-reviewed publications and over 80 book chapters, and he
has edited five books. He has been
awarded many NIH grants with continuous funding over his career, and is the
recipient of various other extramural grants, including several grants
mentoring students and junior faculty.
Towbin has also received many
honors nationally and internationally, including the 2003 Michael Debakey
Excellence in Research Award, the 2007 American College of Cardiology
Distinguished Scientist Award, the 2010 American Heart Association Meritorious
Achievement Award, the 2011 American College of Cardiology and Journal of the
American College of Cardiology Simon Dack Award for Outstanding Scholarship,
and the 2008 17th Annual Texas Children’s International Recognition
Award. He has given more than 50 named
lectures and visiting professorships.
He has played leadership roles in
the American College of Cardiology, including chair of the Awards Committee;
the American Heart Association, including president of the Houston division;
and the American Academy of Pediatrics, including chair of the Program
Committee of the Section on Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery National
Conference and Exhibition. He also is chief of Pediatric Cardiology and the
Kindervelt-Samuel Kaplan Chair in Pediatric Cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s,
and professor of pediatric cardiology at
the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD, FAAP, FACC, FAHA.
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