Jonathan Stamler, professor of medicine and biochemistry at the School of Medicine and director of the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center, received the 2013 American Heart Association Distinguished Scientist Award at the association’s annual conference in Dallas, Texas.
This honor, the highest bestowed by the American Heart Association, recognizes individuals whose work has significantly advanced the understanding of cardiovascular disease and stroke. An internationally renowned physician-scientist, Stamler is recognized for the discovery of a universal mechanism by which the gas nitric oxide affects cellular function in biology.
Nitric oxide controls proteins in the body, helps transport oxygen to tissue and is critical to the physiological function of all organs and tissues, including the heart, nervous system and immune system. Stamler discovered a process, termed S-nitrosylation, by which nitric oxide attaches to proteins to control cellular function and his and related work has shown that aberrant signaling by S-nitrosylation may underlie the basis of numerous disease conditions, including heart disease, asthma, muscle disorders, and neurological diseases, as well as cancer, infection and aging. His findings anchor the development of new therapeutic approaches for patients with heart and other diseases.
Stamler is also the Robert S. and Sylvia K. Reitman Family Foundation Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Innovation at UH Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the director of the Institute for Transformative Molecular Medicine.
Stamler has published more than 250 original articles and two books, has co-founded five companies, and serves on multiple editorial and scientific advisory boards. He is the author of more than 125 patents. He received his MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, completed his residency and fellowships in both cardiology and pulmonary medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Stamler joined the faculty at Harvard University before spending 16 years at Duke University. He joined Case Western Reserve and the UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute at UH Case Medical Center in 2010.
Stamler is currently conducting multiple National Institutes of Health- and Department of Defense-funded studies, to develop new drugs for treatment of heart, lung and blood disorders and complications of blood transfusion. He has also been recognized by several other prizes and awards, including being named among the “Top Innovators in America” by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
In 2012, Stamler became the inaugural head of the Harrington Discovery Institute, a non-profit organization centered at UH Case Medical Center, which supports the efforts of physician-scientists to advance drug therapies. This is part of a the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, a $250 million national initiative dedicated to helping the nation’s most promising physician-scientists advance breakthrough discoveries into medicines that benefit patients and society.