Current Officers

Charles J. Lowenstein, MD



Dr. Michelle A. Albert, MD MPH is a Professor in Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), Admissions Dean for UCSF Medical School and Director of the CeNter for the StUdy of AdveRsiTy and CardiovascUlaR DiseasE (NURTURE Center). As a physician-scientist-epidemiologist, Dr. Albert is engaged in cutting-edge research that innovatively seeks to incorporate “biology” with social determinants of health to transform CVD science and healthcare of global populations, i.e “the biology of adversity” with a focus on health equity.  Dr. Albert maintains an active clinical practice.  Her clinical expertise involves both taking care of the most critically ill heart disease patients and preventive cardiology at UCSF.  She is a dedicated mentor of trainees and faculty nationwide, especially women and under-represented persons in medicine.

Dr. Lowenstein is the Michel Mirowski, MD Professor of Cardiology and the Chief of Cardiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  He is interested in the genetic basis of vascular diseases.  Dr. Lowenstein’s research team uses genetic studies of humans to identify novel loci linked to vascular inflammation and thrombosis, and then develops cellular and animal models to discover new pathways of vascular inflammation and thrombosis.

Sumeet S. Chugh, MD

Pauline and Harold Price Professor of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Director of the Hearth Rhythm Center and Associate Director of the Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, and Professor of Medicine-in-Residence at UCLA. His scientific career is dedicated to understanding sudden cardiac death: how often it occurs, the underlying causes, and the identification of novel risk factors. Using a real-time population cohort within two large communities of more than one million residents, the Sudden Unexpected Death Study has resulted in a biobank of phenotypes and biomarkers that are currently under investigation as tools of prediction and prevention.

Michelle A. Albert, MD, MPH


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Susan Smyth, MD, PhD


1 year term

Jeff Gill Professor of Cardiology, Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and the Director of the Gill Heart and Vascular Institute at the University of Kentucky.  Dr. Smyth’s research focuses on the interplay between inflammation and thrombosis and the contribution of extracellular mediators and blood and vascular cell-surface signaling receptors in vascular disease. Her clinical interests are in arterial and venous thrombosis prevention, diagnosis, and management.  

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Karol Watson, MD, PhD


1st year of 3 year term

Karol E. Watson, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine/Cardiology and the John C. Mazziotta Term Chair in Medicine at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She was honored to be named Cardiologist of the Year, by the California chapter of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for 2017-18.  Dr. Watson is director of the UCLA Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Health Program, Co- Director of the UCLA Program in Preventative Cardiology, and director of the UCLA Cardiology Fellowship.  She is a Principal Investigator for several large NIH studies and her research focuses on prevention of heart disease, vascular calcification, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and cardiovascular disparities. 

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Jane Freedman, MD


2nd year of 3 year term

Edward Budnitz Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Director of Cardiovascular Research.  Dr. Freedman’s research examines the regulation of pathways contributing to atherothrombotic and cardiometabolic disease.  She oversees two research programs; the first is a basic science laboratory that examines the role of immunity, infection, and inflammation on atherothrombotic disease.  The second facility uses high-throughput, nano-chip, and RNA-seq technologies to study gene expression and provide large scale transcriptomic and proteomic translational data for a wide range of clinical and basic projects.  She is the Editor-in-Chief of Circulation Research.

Barry London, MD, PhD


3rd year of 3 year term

Dr. London is Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of the Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Iowa. His laboratory studies the molecular and genetic basis of arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death using animal models, families with inherited arrhythmia syndromes, and patient cohorts with heart failure. He has held near continuous funding from the NIH through his career, including a Pioneer Award. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Association of University Cardiologists, and the American Clinical and Climatological Association. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Heart Association since 2014.