AHA’s Clinical Research Prize goes to Anne B. Newman, MD, MPH

Anne B. Newman, MD, MPH, received the 2020 Clinical Research Prize during Scientific Sessions.

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Anne B. Newman, MD, MPH, received the 2020 Clinical Research Prize during Scientific Sessions.  

Dr. Newman is chair of the department of epidemiology, the Kathryn M. Detre Endowed Chair of Population Health Sciences, director of the Center for Aging and Population Health, distinguished professor of epidemiology, and professor of medicine and clinical and translational science in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds secondary appointments in the division of geriatric medicine and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is also the clinical director of the Aging Institute of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh. 

“Dr. Newman is internationally renowned for her work in the epidemiology and mechanisms of aging, longevity and disability, especially in the context of cardiovascular disease,” said AHA President Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, FAAN, FAHA. “She has served as the principal investigator for numerous long-term studies on aging and longevity, setting the standard for our understanding of the clinical, physiologic and mechanistic processes of aging. I was fortunate to have the chance to work with her on the Cardiovascular Health Study, where I learned tremendously from her. Aging research is now well-funded, and many institutions have centers for the study of aging; Anne paved the way. We are grateful for her tireless efforts to help the AHA fulfill its mission of longer, healthier lives.” 

Dr. Newman’s extensive research career has focused on aging, including the determinants of physical and cognitive function as well as successful aging and longevity. She has special expertise in the study of cardiovascular disease, aging and body composition, and sarcopenia and physical functioning.

She is presently the principal investigator of several long-term cohort studies and clinical trials in older adults funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. One such study, The Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), is a population-based, longitudinal study of coronary heart disease and stroke in adults aged 65 years and older. The main objective of the study is to identify factors related to the onset and course of coronary heart disease and stroke. CHS is designed to determine the importance of conventional cardiovascular disease risk factors in older adults and to identify new risk factors in this age group, especially those that may be protective and modifiable in order to promote healthy aging and longevity.

Her work on body composition and fitness has documented the adverse effects of high body fat on strength and the importance of cardiovascular fitness to function. Her work in prevention, weight management and physical activity is being widely translated in the community and clinical practice. Most recently, she has played key roles in clinical trials focused on older adults, including the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) Trial and the Pragmatic Evaluation of Events and Benefits of Lipid Lowering in Older Adults (PREVENTABLE) trial. Her work on biomarkers of aging in the Cardiovascular Health Study is informing new translational trials in geroscience, such as the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) trial.

“I am so honored to receive this award from the AHA,” said Dr. Newman. “My career has been fostered through the incredible interactions with colleagues at the AHA’s Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, where my work linking the burden of cardiovascular disease to aging was first presented. I am also especially grateful for my colleagues in the Cardiovascular Health Study for their mentorship, collaboration and support.”

Dr. Newman is an elected member of the American Epidemiology Society, the American Association of Physicians, and the Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, with added qualifications in geriatric medicine.

She directs the Center for Aging and Population Health in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, which includes a National Institute on Aging National Service Award for training epidemiology doctoral fellows in the Epidemiology of Aging. She also serves as co-director for the NIA-funded University of Pittsburgh Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center in the department of medicine. The Pepper Center promotes independence among older Americans by researching and emphasizing balance and mobility in order to reduce fall injuries.

Dr. Newman serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Science and on the editorial boards of several other journals. She is a frequent reviewer and advisory panel member for both the NHLBI and the NIA, including a current appointment to the NIA Board of Scientific Counselors.

She earned her undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and completed her residency and fellowship at Presbyterian University Hospital in Pittsburgh. Dr. Newman then returned to the University of Pittsburgh, where she achieved her master’s degree in public health.