• Article
  • Apr 03 2023

Gill Foundation honors researchers for excellence in cardiovascular research and medicine

Columbia University's Rebecca A. Haeusler, Ph.D., (left) and Stanford University's Joseph C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., will be honored at the UK Gill Heart and Vascular Institute Cardiovascular Research Day in October. Photos provided.

The Gill Awards, given each year through the generous support of the Gill Foundation of Texas, honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of cardiovascular medicine, both through research and clinical care. The awards are based on nominations and assessments by a committee of prominent cardiovascular researchers from across the nation. The awards will be presented at the 25th annual University of Kentucky Gill Heart and Vascular Institute Cardiovascular Research Day on Oct. 20, 2023, at the Central Bank Center.

Joseph C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, and the Simon H. Stertzer, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Radiology, will be awarded the Gill Heart and Vascular Institute Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cardiovascular Research.

Wu, who is president-elect of the American Heart Association, will be honored for his lifelong and notable achievements in research and the direct impact his work has had on cardiovascular biology, disease and the standard of cardiovascular clinical care.

Wu’s lab works on biological mechanisms of patient-specific and disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells. The goals of his research are to better understand the disease and implement precision medicine for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular patients. He has published hundreds of manuscripts and is a highly-cited researcher.

Wu will receive a plaque and a cash prize of $25,000. 

Rebecca A. Haeusler, Ph.D., an associate professor of pathology and cell biology and researcher at Columbia University’s Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, will be awarded the Gill Heart and Vascular Institute Early Career Gill Award.

The award is given to those who are typically within the first seven years of their faculty appointment. Awardees are recognized for innovation and creativity that has impacted cardiovascular research and/or advancements in clinical care.

The committee selected Haeusler for the award based on her research focused on lipoprotein and cholesterol metabolism and its potential link to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.

Haeusler will receive a plaque and a cash prize of $10,000. 

“The continued support of Linda and Jack Gill grants us a special opportunity to recognize two highly accomplished researchers in cardiovascular medicine, bring them to our campus and provide all the members of the University of Kentucky Cardiovascular Research Priority Area a chance to learn from the best,” said Alan Daugherty, director of the Saha Cardiovascular Research Center and Gill Foundation Chair in Preventive Cardiology.

About the Gill Foundation

The Gill Foundation of Texas focuses on providing scholarships for economically disadvantaged students; creating Centers of Excellence in technical fields (e.g., cardiovascular sciences, neurosciences and entrepreneurial programs for scientists, engineers & physicians); and creating novel courses, seminars and programs to promote interdisciplinary collaboration at universities.

Their $5 million donation in 1997 established the Linda and Jack Gill Heart and Vascular Institute (GHVI) at UK HealthCare, home to cutting-edge cardiovascular research, clinical care and education for cardiovascular professionals. GHVI focuses on advancing the knowledge of cardiovascular disease, diagnoses, clinical treatments and prevention. This donation also funded an endowed chair in preventive cardiology, five endowed professorships, endowed research and special programs and supports the annual Cardiovascular Research Day symposia.