PHILADELPHIA — Jonathan A. Epstein, MD, executive vice dean, chief scientific officer, and the William Wikoff Smith Professor of Cardiovascular Research in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded the Harriet P. Dustan Award for Outstanding Work in Science as Related to Medicine by the American College of Physicians (ACP), a national organization of internists. Established by ACP’s Board of Regents in 1958, this award recognizes outstanding work in science (non-clinical or clinical, biochemical, biological, physical, or social) as related to medicine, and it was renamed in 2017 after Dustan, a Master of the College and a clinician and investigator whose pioneering research advanced the detection and treatment of hypertension.
The award will be presented in April 2020 at the ACP’s Convocation Ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where ACP is hosting its annual scientific conference, Internal Medicine Meeting 2020.
Epstein is a physician-scientist and renowned stem cell biologist and developmental biologist who is a leading figure in cardiovascular biology. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular development and implications for understanding and treating human disease. He has repeatedly provided paradigm-shifting discoveries based on a deep understanding of molecular mechanisms of human biology and disease. His stem cell, angiogenesis, and epigenetic studies have had direct implications for the development of new therapeutic agents for heart failure and myocardial infarction. Most recently, Epstein and his team reported on the use of CAR T-cell therapy to treat fibrosis associated with heart failure, in a paper published in Nature, which was featured in The New York Times and Scientific American.
Epstein previously served Penn Medicine as chair of Cell and Developmental Biology, Scientific Director of the Cardiovascular Institute (CVI), and Founding Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IRM). Nationally, he serves or has served on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Counselors, NHLBI Council, and Advisory Panel of the “All-of-Us” precision medicine program, and he has served as chair and standing member of NIH study sections. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Investigator Award from the American Federation for Medical Research (2006). Epstein is a member of the Philadelphia College of Physicians, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Association of American Physicians, Past President of the Interurban Clinical Club, Past President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He serves on multiple editorial boards, and is a past Deputy Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, excellence in patient care, and community service. The organization consists of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Penn’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school.
The Perelman School of Medicine is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $550 million awarded in the 2022 fiscal year. Home to a proud history of “firsts” in medicine, Penn Medicine teams have pioneered discoveries and innovations that have shaped modern medicine, including recent breakthroughs such as CAR T cell therapy for cancer and the mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities stretch from the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania to the New Jersey shore. These include the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Health, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, and Pennsylvania Hospital—the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.
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