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American Heart Association names award for Emory pioneering cardiologist Nanette Wenger

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When Emory University’s Nanette Wenger, MD, began practicing cardiology, the medical community assumed that heart disease mainly affected men and there was little research to indicate otherwise. However, after treating many female patients with heart disease in her clinic, Wenger felt compelled to research how the disease impacted women compared to men.

Wenger’s clinical work and research led to the breakthrough that women experience heart attack symptoms differently than men and that – most significantly – cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States.

Wenger’s extraordinary career and contributions to the field have most recently been honored by the American Heart Association (AHA) which has named a new award in her honor. The Nanette K. Wenger Award for Best Scientific Publication on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Women was recently created to recognize Wenger’s monumental work and inspire continued research innovation and discovery. The inaugural award will be presented during this year’s AHA Scientific Sessions, Nov. 13-15, 2021.

Wenger is an emeritus professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at Emory’s School of Medicine and a consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center.

“Dr. Wenger’s name is practically synonymous with women’s cardiovascular research and care – she has been a formidable leader in the field of women’s heart health and a strong ally and advocate for women in cardiology and medicine. This award recognizes her incredible legacy of paving the way, supporting and mentoring women as scientists and medical professionals, as well as her pioneering efforts in cardiovascular disease research about, for and by women,” says American Heart Association President Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD.

The award is one of many Wenger has received throughout her career from the AHA, including the Gold Heart Award, the organization’s highest award; the Distinguished Achievement Award; the Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award; a Lifetime Achievement Award; and most recently, the Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award.

“Dr. Wenger is a lifelong leader in cardiovascular research and care in women and in mentoring women as scientists and physicians. We congratulate her on this honor and her incredible career of accomplishments,” says David S. Stephens, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine.

“I am honored and humbled by this fantastic award bearing my name as it will contribute to enhancing the research designed to improve the heart health of women,” says Wenger.

This new award is open to all authors who submit manuscripts focused on cardiovascular disease and stroke in women in one of the AHA’s 12 scientific journals. Submissions for the 2022 award will open June 1, 2021, and remain open through May 29, 2022.

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