Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D.
Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, received her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1981. She completed an internship and residency in internal medicine followed by a clinical and research fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University. She is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases. In 1987, she joined the faculty at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and rose through the ranks, becoming Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center in 1992, Professor of Medicine and Physiology in 1994, and Chief of the Division of Cardiology in 1997.
Dr. Nabel joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 1999 as the Institute’s Scientific Director of Clinical Research and in 2005 became Director where she oversees an extensive national research portfolio of basic and clinical research to prevent, diagnose, and treat heart, lung, and blood diseases. The Institute also conducts educational activities for health professionals, patients, and the general public. Dr. Nabel has made many contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of cardiovascular (CV) diseases and has devoted several decades to exploring genes that contribute to vascular disease and strategies for gene transfer to benefit patients with those diseases. She has intertwined basic research and translation to clinical medicine throughout her career and has championed the concept of “bench to bedside.” Dr. Nabel has a longstanding interest in genetic and cellular therapies for CV disease, having developed techniques for the introduction and expression of recombinant genes into blood vessels in vivo. Many of the basic studies conducted by her lab led to gene and cell-based trials for CV diseases in the United States and Europe. Dr. Nabel’s current research interests are concentrated on the molecular genetics of vascular diseases, where she has investigated the regulation of smooth muscle cell growth by cell cycle proteins, a process important for the development of atherosclerosis. Her current work focuses on the rare premature aging disorder, Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, where she has characterized the smooth muscle cell defect leading to premature heart attack and stroke in children in their early teens.
Dr. Nabel has served as a Visiting Professor at major medical centers throughout the country and delivered major lectureships in Europe and Australia. She has received numerous awards for her scientific accomplishments, including the Willem Einthoven Award from Leiden University in the Netherlands; Distinguished Achievement Awards form the American Heart Association; Distinguished Alumni Award from Weill Cornell Medical College; and honorary doctorates from the University of Leuven, Belgium, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and the University of Glasgow, Scotland. She is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the Association of American Physicians, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, where she serves on its Council. Dr. Nabel has also served as Councilor and Secretary for the ASCI; Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation; Board of Reviewing Editors for Science; and currently is on the Editorial Board of the New England Journal of Medicine.
A partner on 16 patents, Dr. Nabel is the author of more than 240 scientific publications, and she has mentored more than 49 students and fellows.