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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.

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.  A cardiologist with extensive clinical experience, Dr. Nabel has had a distinguished career as a researcher.  While at the University of Michigan, she became known for her research in the molecular genetics of cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Nabel joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 1999 as the Institute’s Scientific Director of Clinical Research.  In 2005, Dr. Nabel became Director of NHLBI, 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.  The NHLBI budget for fiscal year 2006 is approximately $2.9 billion.

Dr. Nabel has made many contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.  She 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 delineated the mechanisms that regulate the vascular proliferation and remodeling which lead to blood vessel blockages.  Her research now focuses on the role of genetic factors in blood vessel diseases, including atherosclerosis and Hutchinson Gilford Progeria Syndrome, a rare, premature aging syndrome.

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, the Amgen-Scientific Achievement Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Distinguished Achievement Awards from the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Council and the Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology Council of the American Heart Association (AHA).  In 2001, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Leuven, Belgium and in 2006 from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

Dr. Nabel is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians, as well as a Fellow of the AHA and the American College of Cardiology.  She serves on the editorial board of many scientific journals, including being an editorial board member of the New England Journal of Medicine, past Board of Reviewing Editors for Science, and associate editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

A partner on 13 patents, Dr. Nabel is the author of more than 200 scientific publications, and she has mentored more than 45 students and fellows.


Clinical Director, Women's Heart Program
George Washington University Hospital, Washington, D.C.

Susan K. Bennett, M.D., is Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at George Washington University Medical Center, in Washington, D.C.  She is a partner with Cardiology Associates, PC also located in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Bennett earned her M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia.  After graduating, she completed both her internship and her residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.  After completing fellowships in cardiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland Medical System, she remained on staff at the University of Maryland as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology.  In 1997 she joined Cardiology Associates, PC a 25-member single specialty group.

Dr. Bennett is the Medical Advisor for WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.  She also served as Chair for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Advisory Panel on Women and Heart Disease, which convened in March 2001.  Dr. Bennett is past-president of the Greater Washington Area American Heart Association and national spokesperson for the American Heart Association (AHA).  She serves as medical spokesperson for The Heart Truth Campaign, which is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the NHLBI, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in partnership with WomenHeart and AHA.

Dr. Bennett is the director of the Women's Heart Program at George Washington University Hospital.  This outpatient facility brings the comprehensive cardiovascular care to women in the D.C. area.  The center specializes in tailoring aggressive risk management programs for women at risk or with heart and vascular disease and includes dietary and exercise interventions.  Dr. Bennett is also president of the newly formed Association of Women's Heart Programs.  This non-profit works to educate the medical profession about important gender related issues in women and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Bennett has authored and co-authored many articles on cardiovascular disease.  Her professional memberships include AHA, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society for Women's Health Research.


Director, Mayo Clinic Women's Heart Clinic

Dr. Sharonne Hayes directs and practices at the Women's Heart Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and actively promotes women's cardiovascular health issues at the national, local, and institutional levels.  Dr. Hayes created the Women's Heart Clinic at Mayo to meet the unique needs of women suffering from or at risk for cardiovascular disease, and to improve patient satisfaction, clinical outcomes, and research efforts.

Dr. Hayes participated in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Women's Heart Health Education Strategy Development Workshop in 2001, which ultimately led to the development of The Heart Truth campaign, as well as several other NHLBI-sponsored workshops.  She has served on several national and international steering and planning groups, and helped develop the Second International Conference on Women, Heart Disease and Stroke and American Heart Association's (AHA) Evidence-based Guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Women.  She is immediate past-chair and current member of the Advisory Board of WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.  In February 2004 she was honored to be invited by First Lady Laura Bush to speak at the White House for the kick-off of American Heart Month.  She serves as a medical spokesperson for The Heart Truth campaign.

Dr. Hayes is a nationally recognized educator on women's cardiovascular issues, as well as preventive cardiology, and echocardiography.  Since 1998, she has hosted "Perspectives in Women's Health", the Mayo Clinic's continuing medical education video-teleconference series and in 2004, co-produced the Emmy-nominated PBS show, "Call to Action: Women and Heart Disease".  She co-founded and is medical director of the Science and Leadership Symposium for Women with Heart Disease, held annually to activate and train women with heart disease to become community heart health educators.  She is past-president of AHA's , Olmsted Division, and the current associate director of CardioVision 2020, a community health initiative that aims to improve the heart health of the residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota.  She is a member of a number of organizations and groups involved in education, strategic planning, and program development for the improvement of health care, particularly cardiovascular health in women.

Dr. Hayes received her medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago and completed fellowships in internal medicine, cardiovascular research, and cardiovascular diseases at the Mayo Clinic Rochester.  She is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography.


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