Ivor Benjamin to receive the 2022 Chairman’s Award
Dr. Benjamin is passionate about inspiring future scientists and using STEM career paths to achieve more inclusive research and patient care.
Ivor J. Benjamin, MD, FAHA, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, is being recognized with the prestigious Chairman’s Award during the Presidential Session on Sunday.
Throughout his career as a physician-scientist, Dr. Benjamin has focused on cardiovascular health, especially proteostatic networks in cardiac disease, stem cell biology and redox homeostasis, which has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) including the prestigious NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. His research generated the first Hsf1 knockout mice that uncovered the proteostatic requirements for thermotolerance, female fertility, circadian rhythm and tumorigenesis. Dr. Benjamin also pioneered the concept of “reductive stress” as a causal mechanism in a form of cardiomyopathy. He has provided leadership to expand biomedical research and patient care to reduce disability and death related to heart disease and stroke. For more than 30 years, he has led both clinical and research-based cardiovascular programs.
He is passionate about inspiring future scientists and is a strong advocate for STEM career paths as a means to achieve more inclusive research and patient care that will reduce health disparities and improve health equity. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he, along with colleagues from the Beta Alpha Boulé, with support from the national fraternity of Sigma Pi Phi, was instrumental in addressing the mental health needs of students. They engaged communities, educators and legislators to form the Four School Mental Health Initiative in Milwaukee. Dr. Benjamin also serves as member of the National Advisory Committee for the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation whose mission is to increase the number of medical, dental and nursing faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. He is the former chair of the Mentor/AHA Mentee Award and is the current chair of the Institutional Training Mechanism Review Committee for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health.
“I’m humbled by this recognition from the American Heart Association,” said Dr. Benjamin. “As a physician, I feel it’s my duty to improve the future of care delivery and patient outcomes, and as a researcher, to discover new treatments and to challenge existing dogmas. Without doubt, I think the best ways to accomplish such aspiring goals are to collaborate with thought leaders and by encouraging a more diverse pool and inclusive environment from which the next generation of physicians and scientists will strive.”
At the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Benjamin is a professor of medicine, physiology, pharmacology and toxicology, cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy, and surgery. He is the director of the school’s Cardiovascular Center, serves as the co-director of the NIH’s T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cardiovascular Sciences at the College, and is a professor in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Benjamin is also an adjunct senior investigator at the Versiti Blood Research Institute of Wisconsin.
Dr. Benjamin earned a bachelor’s from Hunter College in New York, and a Doctor of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. He completed a medical internship and residency at the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at the Michael Reese Hospital at the University of Chicago, a research fellowship in molecular cardiology at Duke University Medical Center and a research fellowship in molecular biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Dr. Benjamin has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers. He is the editor of Clinical and Translational Science. He is a consulting editor for Springer Nature, American Journal of Physiology and Heart and Circulatory Physiology. He also is the editor-in-chief of the ninth edition of Cecil Essentials of Medicine. Also, Dr. Benjamin is a former president of the Association of University Cardiologists.
He is the editor of the association’s journals Circulation, Circulation Research and the Journal of the American Heart Association, of which he was a founding member. Dr. Benjamin is a former president of the AHA and was previously recognized by the association in 1997 with the Established Investigator Award, which he credits as the pivotal launching point in his research career.