Clare Oliver-Williams, PhD, recognized with the inaugural Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Goes Red® Award


Clare Oliver-Williams, PhD, MPH
Clare Oliver-Williams, PhD, MPH

The inaugural Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Research Goes Red® Award for Best Scientific Publication on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Women was given to Clare Oliver-Williams, PhD, MPH. 

The Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Award Research Goes Red® Award for Best Scientific Publication on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Women is named in honor of Dr. Nanette K. Wenger’s pioneering career in cardiovascular medicine. Nanette K. Wenger, MD, FAHA, is an emeritus professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine, consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center, founding consultant to the Emory Women’s Heart Center and director of the Cardiac Clinics and Ambulatory Electrocardiographic Laboratory at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.  

The Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Research Goes Red® Award for Best Scientific Publication on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Women is given annually in recognition of the best research article focused on cardiovascular disease and stroke in women published during the previous year in any of the AHA’s  14 peer-reviewed, scientific journals. The association’s Research Goes Red®initiative aims to empower women to contribute to health research.  

Dr. Oliver-Williams, who is an early career research scientist, was selected for the inaugural Nanette K. Wenger Award in recognition of her manuscript, “Future Cardiovascular Disease Risk for Women With Gestational Hypertension: A Systematic Review and MetaAnalysis,” published on July 7, 2020, in the Journal of the American Heart Association. This article was ranked the highest out of 54 papers selected from the Go Red collection of research on women and cardiovascular disease and published in one of the AHA’s 12 scientific journals between June 1, 2020, and May 29, 2021. Her manuscript was selected by a group of 50 experts in cardiovascular disease and stroke. Of the submitted papers, six countries were represented, and 61% of first authors were female. Papers were graded based on scientific impact, innovation, methodology and quality of the data and evidence supporting the hypothesis and conclusions. 

“I am delighted and honored to receive the first Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Award from the American Heart Association,” said Dr. Oliver-Williams. “Ever since my first niece was born, I have known that I wanted to understand more about pregnancy and maternal health. Yet, it was only once I met Dr. Angela Wood that my eyes were opened to the much broader time span in which pregnancy plays a part in women’s health. Pregnancy might feel like it lasts 10 months at most, however, it echoes throughout the decades of a woman’s life. This award matters so much, both to me and to the wider community of researchers focused on women’s health. 

“Many of us working in women’s health research have struggled to have our research seen as important, seen as more than a side issue,” Dr. Oliver-Williams said. “Awards like the Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Award help to highlight our research, as well as shining a light on the importance of heart health for women at all stages of their life. And that, at the end of the day, is the name of the game – improving the health and lives of women. Personally, this award will be indispensable. It provides me with an incredible career and morale boost, which is much appreciated, and these funds will allow me to cover the most indispensable of expenses for working mothers: childcare. Thank you!” 

Dr. Oliver-Williams is a graduate of Cambridge University, where she earned both a master’s of public health in epidemiology and a doctorate in public health and primary care. She led the research when she was a junior research fellow at Homerton College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, and she now is an honorary research associate in the department of public health and primary care at the University of Cambridge, both in Cambridge, England. Dr. Oliver-Williams is also a specialty trainee registrar in public health for the Central Bedfordshire Local Authority. Her research has been published in more than 50 peer-reviewed papers. 

Dr. Oliver-Williams researches cardiovascular risk factors that are specific to women. She is currently exploring the effects of reproductive health on other health conditions, specifically how cardiovascular risks may be identified from patients’ obstetrics health histories.  

“I applaud Dr. Oliver-Williams and her research colleagues for this valuable research paper on the association of hypertension during pregnancy with cardiovascular disease risk. I am honored for this award to be given in my name to support young researchers – you are the future of cardiovascular medicine! Thank you for your continuing efforts to close the data gap on cardiovascular disease in women,” said Nanette K. Wenger, MD, FAHA, an emeritus professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine, consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center, founding consultant to the Emory Women’s Heart Center and director of the Cardiac Clinics and Echocardiographic Laboratory at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.