The American Heart Association presented its newest honor, the Joseph A. Vita Award, to Laura Mauri, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and Boston's Brigham & Women's Hospital, for her "leadership of transformative clinical investigations identifying and clarifying optimal treatment methodologies for a variety of cardiovascular disorders."

Mauri received the award during Sunday's opening session of the Association's Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians, which was held at the Anaheim Convention Center.

American Heart Association President John Warner, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, presented the award, a citation and $1,000 honorarium. The annual award from the world's leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke honors an investigator whose research has had major impact in the field of cardiovascular biology or cardiovascular health during the last five years.

"Dr. Mauri and her associates have brought scientific and methodologic rigor to clinical research, particularly observational and randomized trials that, in turn, have changed the practice of cardiology," Warner said. "Her research has focused on clinical evaluation of the efficacy of new medical technology, expanding the understanding of interactions between medical devices, clinical practice and pharmaceutical therapy."

Studies led by Mauri include a large trial clarifying risk versus benefit of continued blood-clot prevention therapy in patients with coronary artery disease and stents. The trial showed marked reductions in heart attacks with treatment beyond one year. Mauri's research group also has developed decision tools to individualize treatment choices by identifying patients most likely to derive desired benefits without increased bleeding risk. 

The award was developed in tribute to the late Joseph A. Vita, M.D., founding editor of American Heart Association's newest science publication, Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA).