The American Heart Association has awarded its 2013 Population Research Prize to Lewis H. Kuller, M.D., Dr.P.H., of Pittsburgh, “for 40 years of inspired leadership of a worldwide effort to better understand and prevent heart disease and stroke in populations.”
Kuller, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology and Distinguished University Professor of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, received the prize during opening ceremonies of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2013 at the Dallas Convention Center. Mariell Jessup, M.D., president of the Association, presented the prize, a citation and $5,000 honorarium.
In presenting the award, Jessup praised Kuller as “one of the world’s most creative, inquisitive and productive population investigators.” His studies have encompassed “an amazing number of areas” including many factors associated with individual and population risk for cardiovascular disease and other major chronic ills, Jessup said.
The Pittsburgh scientist began his work in the 1960s with studies of sudden cardiac death, and has focused on links between cardiovascular risk and inflammation, hormone therapy, women’s health, lipids, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, dietary salt, physical activity, smoking, air pollution and infections. He has probed vascular contributions to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as well as cardiovascular risk in racial/ethnic groups and the elderly. He also has investigated aspects of rheumatoid arthritis and some forms of cancer.
In recent work Kuller has studied the use of non-invasive techniques to detect pre-clinical vascular disease in an effort to facilitate earlier, more effective prevention and treatment.
“He has participated in some of the most influential studies of our generation,” Jessup said.