October 16, 2009

Heart Association lauds Brown, Inagami

Heart Association lauds Brown, Inagami

Nancy Brown, M.D., and Tadashi Inagami, Ph.D., received awards at the 63rd High Blood Pressure Research Conference sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA).

The conference, held in Chicago in late September, focused on recent advances in hypertension research and included oral and poster presentations.

Nancy Brown, M.D.

Nancy Brown, M.D.

Tadashi Inagami, Ph.D.

Tadashi Inagami, Ph.D.

Brown received the Harriet Dustan Award, which recognizes female investigators who have made outstanding contributions in the field of hypertension.

Brown's research group has studied the mechanisms through which drugs that interrupt the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone and kallikrein-kinin systems affect risk of heart disease and death in patients with hypertension and diabetes.

“I feel honored to receive this award,” said Brown, chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and associate dean for Clinical and Translational Scientist Development.

“Harriet Dustan was a superb physician-scientist who contributed much to our thinking about the treatment of hypertension. She was ahead of her time in thinking about health disparities and about obesity and hypertension.”

Inagami, professor of Biochemistry and Medicine, received the Distinguished Scientist Award, given to prominent AHA members whose work has advanced the understanding and management of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

He was selected on the basis of excellence and uniqueness of major research accomplishments in Cardiovascular Sciences. For much of his career, Inagami has pursued the mechanism of blood pressure regulation.

His basic research on the structure and function of renin helped lay the foundation for the development of renin inhibitors to treat hypertension — drugs that have only recently become viable.

Inagami served as the director of the Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) in Hypertension for 17 years. SCOR was a large, interdisciplinary research center funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Under his direction, clinical investigators participated in some of the initial clinical trials of blood pressure medications which suppress renin-based hormones like angiotensin II — some of the first medications to be widely used as anti-hypertensive drugs.

“It was certainly a great honor to receive the Distinguished Scientist Award, the highest award of the AHA,” Inagami said.

“It is the result of a very rigorous selection process and it means our work is valued.”