The 2022 Joseph A. Vita Award is given to Paul Muntner
Paul Muntner, PhD, MHS, FAHA, has led researched focused on identifying cardiovascular disease risk factors and improving CVD prevention and treatment.
Paul Muntner, PhD, MHS, FAHA, will receive the 2022 Joseph A. Vita Award. The award is given annually in honor of the late cardiovascular scientist Joseph A. Vita, MD, to recognize scientists who have led research that has had a major impact on the field of cardiovascular biology or cardiovascular health during the past five years. Dr. Vita was the founding editor of the AHA’s Open Access, peer-reviewed, Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA).
“Congratulations, Dr. Muntner, on being this year’s Joseph A. Vita Award recipient,” said Association President Michelle A. Albert, MD, MPH, FAHA. “Your work exploring how environmental factors and patient demographics impact blood pressure and hypertension risk is inspiring. Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. We applaud your research efforts focused on improving hypertension prevention, risk and treatment through insight on how the environment impacts cardiovascular health.”
Dr. Muntner is selected for the Joseph A. Vita Award because of his work focused on identifying cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and improving CVD prevention and treatment. He currently has 11 grant-funded studies in progress exploring the potential connection between home blood pressure readings and the risk for falling in adults 65 and older; the accuracy of diagnosing hypertension using new approaches to blood pressure measurement; and identifying methods of improving hypertension and reducing complications related to blood pressure among African American adults. Dr. Muntner is also conducting studies on masked hypertension — defining the condition and identifying who should be screened for it. One of his studies is exploring if high-density lipoprotein may be used to predict Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impartment, specifically exploring the potential connections that may occur between high-density lipoprotein and inflammatory proteins and single nucleotide polymorphisms, both of which have been previously linked to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, migraines and Alzheimer’s disease.
“I am honored to receive this special award from the association,” said Dr. Muntner. “This award would not have been possible without the unwavering support from my mentors including Drs. Josef Coresh, Jiang He, Paul Whelton, Donna Arnett and Suzanne Oparil. Additionally, I have been fortunate to work with outstanding collaborators, who have made it fun to do this important work.”
At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Muntner is a professor of epidemiology and the co-director of the PharmacoEpidemiology and Economics Research Group. He also is the associate dean for research in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health. Additionally, he is an adjunct investigator for Kaiser Permanente Southern California.
Dr. Muntner earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester, as well as a master’s in biostatistics and a doctorate in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Muntner currently serves as an associate editor for the American Journal of Hypertension; and as an editorial board member of Hypertension Research. Dr. Muntner is an active mentor to students, fellows and early career professors and currently co-directs the University of Alabama at Birmingham T32 program on Cardiovascular Biostatistics and Epidemiology.
He was previously recognized by the association in 2005 as one of five finalists for the Sandra A. Daugherty Award, which celebrates junior investigators in epidemiology. He has published more than 650 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Muntner is an editorial board member for the AHA’s Hypertension journal, and he leads the statistical core for the Association’s Health Equity Research Network to Prevent Hypertension and the training core for the Association’s Health Equity Research Network to Prevent Maternal Morbidity and Mortality.