The American Heart Association (AHA) awarded its Population Research Prize for 2017 to Donna K. Arnett, PhD, MSPH, “for insightful research successfully blending the basic molecular sciences with population studies to produce a highly relevant new understanding of major aspects of cardiovascular disease including risk prediction, hypertension and heart failure.”
Arnett, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health and professor of Epidemiology, received the prize during the opening of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2017. The annual prize honors important studies of cardiovascular disease patterns in populations.
“Throughout her praise-worthy career, Dr. Arnett has worked to integrate molecular science with population studies, using her extensive training in both disciplines, to produce broadly relevant results for the health of the public,” said John Warner, MD, president of AHA.
“Her personal success is evident in both her publication record and her funding,” he noted. “She has published more than 500 peer-reviewed reports in high-impact journals in multiple fields, including seminal work she has led identifying genetic biomarkers and in risk prediction, hypertension, heart failure, imaging and methods development.”
Arnett also has played a key role in the development of the population research portfolio of the American Heart Association, where she served as a bridge between the population and molecular research communities, Warner said, adding: “Her many years of service have included time as a high-profile role model for population research during her presidency of this Association, in 2012-2013.”
An NIH-funded researcher for 20 years, Arnett studies genes related to hypertensive disorders and organ damage that results from hypertension. She has been dean of the UK College of Public Health since January 2016.