New $1 million research initiative supports early career vascular disease investigator research

DALLAS and SAN JOSE, Calif, March 13, 2018 — The American Heart Association and VIVA Physicians, Inc. announced today a two-year $1 million grant program to support research initiatives in vascular disease and career development opportunities for early career investigators at the post-doctoral level.

The research supported by the project will focus on clinical and population research in vascular disease. The goal is to encourage more scientific research in this area and, ultimately, fund scientists to make discoveries that advance the care and improve the quality of life for of people with vascular diseases.

“Vascular disease is prevalent in the U.S. and rates are likely to grow with our aging population,” said Ivor Benjamin, M.D. FAHA, president elect of the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke. “The therapeutic landscape for these conditions is on the cusp of evolution with the promise of discoveries that can improve diagnosis and treatment of peripheral vascular diseases and favorably impact disease outcomes.”

Both VIVA Physicians, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing the field of vascular medicine, and American Heart Association understand the significance of supporting early career scientists. In addition to funding meritorious research to advance vascular science, the American Heart Association - VIVA Physicians Research Awards will offer training and mentorship to potential future leaders in cardiovascular and stroke research focused on vascular issues.

“The mission of VIVA Physicians is to advance the care of patients with vascular disease,” says John Kaufman MD., VIVA Physicians board president. “With this grant program, we hope to encourage more scientific research and discovery in this arena. We are proud to work with the American Heart Association in the shared goal of advancing research to improve patient lives.”

Vascular diseases, including atherosclerotic peripheral vascular and aortic diseases are prevalent in the U.S. and other nations. More than 202 million people worldwide, including more than eight million in the U.S. age 40 and older, suffer from peripheral artery disease (PAD), which impacts peripheral arteries to the legs, stomach, arms and head - most commonly the legs. The reduced blood flow associated with PAD can damage cells and tissue in the limbs, organs and even in the brain. PAD can lead to walking difficulty and increased leg pain with walking, called claudication. People with PAD are at risk of complications including infections and amputation. Additionally, individuals with PAD have significantly higher rates of major adverse cardiovascular events including heart attack, stroke and death.

Interested early career investigators should submit an application for the American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship or Career Development Award via Applicants with questions should email