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American Heart Association Research Milestones – 1990s

Paula Bronstein, Getty Images
Paula Bronstein, Getty Images

1990s Research Milestones

1990: Dr. John Clements, an AHA Career Investigator since 1964, receives U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for an artificial surfactant called Exosurf Neonatal, which counteracts Respiratory Distress Syndrome, a common cause of death for premature infants.

Dr. Andrew R. Marks’ earlier basic research on calcium channel function provided preliminary data for the understanding of how the drug-eluting stent would work. The arterial stent has been a major medical advance for treating blockages. To address the complication of re-blocking of the artery caused by the cells from the blood vessel growing on the stent, Dr. Marks coats the stents with a couple of drugs, one being Rapamycin. Since 1986, Dr. Marks received seven AHA awards for a total of $1,217,296.84.

1992: Dr. Edwin Krebs, along with Dr. Edmond Fischer, is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of how proteins are switched on to perform functions within cells. Dr. Krebs, whose research was supported in part by the AHA, had received the association’s Research Achievement Award in 1987.

1998: Three Americans were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of nitric oxide — a colorless gas that makes blood vessels dilate by relaxing the vessels’ smooth muscles. The AHA funded one of the awardees, Dr. Robert Furchgott, from 1952-54. The AHA selected another of the Nobel Prize winners, Louis Ignarro, as the 1998 recipient of the AHA’s Basic Research Prize presented at the AHA’s 71st Annual Scientific Sessions.

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