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American Heart Association Research Milestones – 2000s

 Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images
Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

2000s Research Milestones

2003: Dr. Peter Agre is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of aquaporins, proteins that govern the movement of water in and out of cells. Dr. Agre received American Heart Association Established Investigator funding from 1987-92.

2007: Dr. Mario Capecchi is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries in gene targeting. Dr. Capecchi received American Heart Association Established Investigator Award funding from 1969–73.

2008: Dr. Martin Chalfie, 2008 Nobel Prize recipient in Chemistry, received the British-American Research Fellowship from the American Heart Association in 1977. This fellowship gave U.S. postdocs access to training in Great Britain and British postdocs access to training in the United States.

Dr Chalfie’s AHA-funded work used a fluorescence technique. Subsequently, Dr. Chalfie developed (by the mid-90′s) green fluorescent protein (GFP), a visualization technique that has had a huge impact on our understanding of cellular structure and function of many cell types, including heart cells.

2009: A study found that enacting strong smoke-free legislation is associated with rapid and substantial reductions in heart attacks. One year after passing smoking bans, communities in North America and Europe had 17 percent fewer heart attacks compared to communities without smoking restrictions, and the number of heart attacks kept decreasing with time. The American Heart Association was instrumental in the passage of New York’s Clean Indoor Air Act that bans smoking in restaurants, bars and bowling alleys.

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