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Lifetime's Remarkable Women campaign honors extraordinary women who inspire and empower others to make a difference in their communities and the world.
February 20: Elizabeth Nabel
Elizabeth Nabel, M.D., Director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota Education: Cornell University Medical College (M.D.) Tenure: She's worked at the NHLBI since 1999 (10 years!) and she's been its director since 2005.
Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, received her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1981. She completed an internship and residency in internal medicine followed by a clinical and research fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University.
In 1987, she joined the faculty at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and rose through the ranks, becoming Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center in 1992, Professor of Medicine and Physiology in 1994, and Chief of the Division of Cardiology in 1997. A cardiologist with extensive clinical experience, Dr. Nabel has had a distinguished career as a researcher. While at the University of Michigan, she became known for her research in the molecular genetics of cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Nabel joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 1999 as the Institute's Scientific Director of Clinical Research. In 2005, Dr. Nabel became Director of NHLBI, where she oversees an extensive national research portfolio of basic and clinical research to prevent, diagnose, and treat heart, lung, and blood diseases. The Institute also conducts educational activities for health professionals, patients, and the general public. The NHLBI budget for fiscal year 2006 is approximately $2.9 billion.
Dr. Nabel has made many contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. She has devoted several decades to exploring genes that contribute to vascular disease and strategies for gene transfer to benefit patients with those diseases. She has delineated the mechanisms that regulate the vascular proliferation and remodeling which lead to blood vessel blockages. Her research now focuses on the role of genetic factors in blood vessel diseases, including atherosclerosis and Hutchinson Gilford Progeria Syndrome, a rare, premature aging syndrome.
Dr. Nabel has served as a Visiting Professor at major medical centers throughout the country and delivered major lectureships in Europe and Australia. She has received numerous awards for her scientific accomplishments, including the Willem Einthoven Award from Leiden University in the Netherlands, the Amgen-Scientific Achievement Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Distinguished Achievement Awards from the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Council and the Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology Council of the American Heart Association (AHA). In 2001, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Leuven, Belgium and in 2006 from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York.
Dr. Nabel is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians, as well as a Fellow of the AHA and the American College of Cardiology. She serves on the editorial board of many scientific journals, including being an editorial board member of the New England Journal of Medicine, past Board of Reviewing Editors for Science, and associate editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
A partner on 13 patents, Dr. Nabel is the author of more than 200 scientific publications, and she has mentored more than 45 students and fellows.