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American College of Cardiology honors Vanderbilt’s Dixon, Thomas

Mar. 10, 2022, 9:15 AM


by Matt Batcheldor

Debra Dixon, MD, MS

Two fellows in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine have received awards from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC).

Debra Dixon, MD, MS, received the 2022 ACC/ABC Bristol Myers Squibb Research Fellowship Award. The $100,000 award “provides a springboard for innovative research and supports fellows whose projects have the greatest potential to yield valuable findings relevant to current concerns in cardiovascular medicine, including cardiomyopathies,” according to the ACC.

“Dr. Dixon’s study investigating psychosocial determinants of heart failure related to health care utilization in the Southern Community Cohort Study aims to identify modifiable targets to promote health equity in predominantly low-income, Black and female individuals,” said Deepak Gupta, MD, MSCI, assistant professor of Medicine. “The research environment and resources uniquely available at VUMC to conduct this research will enhance Dr. Dixon’s career development as a physician-

Victoria Thomas, MD

scientist and leader in promotion of health equity.”

Victoria Thomas, MD, received the 2022 ACC/ABC Merck Research Fellowship Award. The $100,000 award supports fellows who are involved in research in adult cardiology and are in an adult cardiology fellowship training program. Recipients are expected to work on a full-time project in clinical research during their year of funded training.

“Dr. Thomas seeks to investigate an incredibly important question about the understanding of peripheral artery disease in a population at risk in a novel venue — places of worship,” said Joshua Beckman, MD, professor of Medicine.

“Her work may help to improve both the community understanding of this disease process and the communication with the medical community. This grant represents strong support of her work, interests and goal to become an independent physician-scientist,” Beckman said.

The award year will fund research from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.

“Drs. Dixon and Thomas will be conducting novel and interesting research, and we are thankful to the ACC and ABC for their support of these two outstanding early-career investigators,” said Jane Freedman, MD, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and physician-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute.

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