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AHA hypertension council honors Robertson, Madhur

Sep. 15, 2016, 10:21 AM

Vanderbilt’s David Robertson, M.D., and Meena Madhur, M.D., Ph.D., were recognized by the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension during the annual Council on Hypertension Scientific Sessions meeting in Orlando this week.

David Robertson, M.D.
David Robertson, M.D.

Considered one of the foremost medical meetings on hypertension, the international conference includes presentations selected from abstracts submitted by clinical and basic researchers, followed by discussions led by leading hypertension authorities.

Robertson, the Elton Yates Professor of Autonomic Disorders, professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Neurology and director of Vanderbilt’s Clinical Research Center, received the 2016 Page-Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring his nearly 40 years of service, research and teaching.

Meena Madhur, M.D., Ph.D.
Meena Madhur, M.D., Ph.D.

The award is named in honor of Irvine Page and Alva Bradley, who played prominent roles in establishing the National Foundation for High Blood Pressure Research in 1945. The first award was presented in 1990.

“Vanderbilt has such a collaborative atmosphere. I am accepting this award on behalf of all those who worked to make discoveries that impacted the treatment of patients with blood pressure disorders,” said Robertson. “I really have to credit our team’s efforts over the years.

“This award represents the collaboration that enabled so many outstanding people to work together to achieve great things in medicine.”

Robertson’s research interests focus on autonomic nervous system and blood pressure regulation.

Madhur, assistant professor of Medicine, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, joined the faculty at Vanderbilt in 2012. She received the Harry Goldblatt New Investigator Award, which recognizes a new independent investigator working in hypertension or cardiovascular research who significantly contributed to the understanding of the causes of hypertension and related cardiovascular disease.

Her research looks at the role of inflammation in hypertension.

“Emerging evidence from our lab and others indicates that hypertension is an inflammatory process in which T-cells and T-cell derived cytokines play a central role,” said Madhur. “Despite this evidence, there are currently no treatments for hypertension that specifically target the immune system.”

Hypertension is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, leading to stroke, heart attack, vascular disease and chronic kidney disease. In the United States, hypertension affects 1 in 3 adults, or nearly 75 million people. That ratio increases by the age of 65, with 2 in 3 adults impacted. In 2014, it was the primary or contributing cause of death for more than 400,000 people nationwide.

“I was very excited about this award,” said Madhur. “It’s a great honor.”

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