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Peter Libby

2017 NAVBO Earl P. Benditt Award - Peter Libby, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Libby head shot

The NAVBO Meritorious Awards Committee and Council are pleased to announce the selection of Peter Libby, M.D., as the 2017 recipient of the Earl P. Benditt Award, in recognition of his numerous significant contributions to elucidating the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and its complications. Dr. Libby is currently Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, serving also as Senior Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Consulting Physician in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He will present the Benditt Lecture and receive the award, one of NAVBO's highest honors, at Vascular Biology 2017 in Pacific Grove, California (October 15-19, 2017).

Following undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at the University of California-Berkeley, Dr. Libby received his M.D. from UC-San Diego in 1973 and trained thereafter as an intern, resident and fellow at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He has held a series of research and clinical positions at Harvard and Tufts University, rising to the rank of Professor of Medicine at Harvard in 1996. He has held leadership positions in numerous clinical trials and served on a multitude of editorial boards, review panels, and advisory groups. Dr. Libby’s research has been supported steadily by the NIH and other agencies for decades, and he serves as the PI of a T32 training grant in cardiovascular research that is in its 32nd year of funding. His scholarly contributions, reported in well more than 350 peer-reviewed publications and over 400 book chapters and reviews, have earned Dr. Libby dozens of honors in the U.S. and internationally, including a MERIT Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (1993-2003), the American Heart Association’s Basic Research Prize, (2011), and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (2014).

As a basic scientist, Dr. Libby has achieved worldwide recognition for his laboratory’s important work on the biology of the endothelium, vascular smooth muscle, and their interactions with inflammatory cells. Of particular note is his contribution to our understanding of the roles of CD40 and CD40L, matrix metalloproteinases and soluble inflammatory mediators. Those writing in support of Dr. Libby’s nomination for the Benditt Award laud his willingness to critically evaluate mouse models as predictors of human pathophysiology or fruitful therapeutic approaches. Dr. Libby and his colleagues were the first to discover that vascular wall cells produce pro-inflammatory cytokines and that inflammatory mechanisms change collagen metabolism and control the susceptibility of atheromata to disrupt and cause thrombosis – key elements of our current understanding of the progression of atherosclerotic disease.

Dr. Libby enjoys a stellar reputation as a teacher and mentor and is a highly sought-after speaker both nationally and abroad. His service to NAVBO likewise has been exemplary: as a “founding member,” he has played leadership roles on the Steering and Development Committees, on Council (1994-1996, 2012-2015), and has fostered productive relationships between NAVBO and other organizations with common goals and constituencies, particularly the American Heart Association.

Please join us at Vascular Biology 2017 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds this fall to honor Dr. Libby as he receives this well-deserved award.  Dr. Libby will give his talk, "Inflammation in Cardiovascular Disease: A Translational Journey" on October 18, 2017 at 3:15pm in Merrill Hall.

Compiled by William R. Huckle,
NAVBO Editor

Read more about the Benditt Award