Eugene Braunwald

Eugene Braunwald

Distinguished Hersey Professor of Medicine

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, US

Biography

Personal History

Dr Braunwald is an Austrian-born American cardiologist. He was born on August 15, 1929 to Jewish parents and moved to the United States in 1939.1, 3 “I had an idyllic childhood there with an excellent school and tutors in English and piano,” he says.6 He has a younger brother who became a haematologist.1

Music is one of Dr Braunwald’s passions. He is also a keen traveler: apart from Vienna, some of his favourite destinations are Paris, Istanbul and Sicily.2 He is married with three daughters and seven grandchildren.

 

Academic History

Dr Braunwald began his Bachelor’s in 1946 at New York University (NYU) and graduated medical school from there in 1952 at the age of 22.1, 5 An elective in his last year of medical school introduced him to cardiology. 

He had Residencies at Mount Sinai Medical Center from 1952 to 1954 and Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1957 to 1958. His Fellowships were at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons from 1954 to 1955. His postdoctoral fellowship with Nobel Laureate André Cournand firmed his interest in research and led to his acceptance by what was then the National Heart Institute for his fellowship from 1955 to 1957.6 He was Board Certified in Internal Medicine in 1960 and Cardiovascular Disease in 1965.5

Dr Braunwald’s first major paper was published in Circulation Research in July 1954, and he has been a major force in cardiology since.4 His early work focused on the control of ventricular function and he was the first to measure both left ventricular ejection fraction and left ventricular dp/dt in patients. 

After a one-year clinical residency at Johns Hopkins, he went back to NIH in 1958, became chief of cardiology and started his own lab at 29 years old.2

 

Career Overview

In 1968, Dr Braunwald decided to go to the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) to start a new medical school. Before that, he served as Chief of Cardiology and Clinical Director at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.3 Since 1972, Dr Braunwald has been the Hersey Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Founding Chairman of the TIMI Study Group.7

Valvular heart disease was his first interest. This began in medical school and peaked during his time at NIH. The second was heart failure and in 1959, he and colleagues identified a whole new disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Dr Braunwald has spent decades researching and testing ways to stop— and prevent —heart disease.2

From 1980 to 1989, he served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Beth Israel Hospital and Blumgart Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was a founding trustee and Chief Academic Officer of Partners HealthCare System.8

As well as teaching, he has written over a thousand journal articles, authored and edited classic textbooks like Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine and Braunwald's Heart Disease, held top administrative posts and lectured around the world.2 Science Watch listed Dr Braunwald as the most frequently cited author in Cardiology with an H index of 198.4

He established the TIMI Study Group which developed the concepts of thrombosis superimposed on atherosclerosis as the pathological basis for acute myocardial infarction and has led to treatments that reduce damage to the heart from a heart attack. Dr Braunwald is a member of numerous societies, including the National Academy of Sciences.2 He was the President of the American Society for Clinical Investigations and the Association of Professors of Medicine.3

 

Career Timeline

  • 1957 - 1968: Chief of Cardiology and Clinical Director at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
  • 1968 - 1972: Founding Chair, Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego
  • 1972 - 1996: Chair, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
  • 1980 - 1989: Chairman, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital 
  • 1980 - 1989: Blumgart Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • 1972 - Present: Distinguished Heresy Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Present: Founding Chairman, Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Study Group, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

 

Recognition 

  • 1966: Jacobi Medallion by the Mount Sinai Alumni (Mount Sinai Hospital) 
  • 1986: Distinguished Scientist Award from American College of Cardiology
  • 1996: Harvard University incepted the Eugene Braunwald Professorship in Medicine as a permanently endowed chair
  • 2001: The Warren Alpert Foundation Prize
  • 2002: Laureate of the King Faisal Prize for Medicine
  • 2004: Inaugural winner of the Libin/AHFMR Prize for Excellence in Cardiovascular Research
  • 2010: Received an Honorary degree from the University of Rochester
  • 2013: Received an Honorary degree from the University of Salerno, heir of the ancient Schola Medica Salernitana
  • The first cardiologist elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • Annual Academic Mentorship Award by the American Heart Association
  • Gold Medal of the European Society of Cardiology

 

Areas of Speciality

  • Heart disease and failure
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

 

Sources

  1. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/834507#vp_2 
  2. https://academic.oup.com/clinchem/article/58/1/11/5620687 
  3. https://kingfaisalprize.org/professor-eugene-braunwald/ 
  4. https://hfnetwork.org/about-us/our-leadership/eugene-braunwald-md 
  5. https://physiciandirectory.brighamandwomens.org/details/1645/eugene-braunwald-boston 
  6. https://www.jci.org/articles/view/67778 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6659041/ 
  8. https://cardurion.com/team/eugene-braunwald-m-d/ 

 

Dr Braunwald is on the CFR editorial board.

 

Articles

Featuring: Eugene Braunwald

Eugene Braunwald,

Published:

Citation: European Cardiology Review 2019;14(2):130–3

Treatment of Heart Failure with Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibitors and Other Anti-diabetic Drugs

Thomas A Zelniker, Eugene Braunwald,

Published:

Citation: Cardiac Failure Review 2019;5(1):27–30.

Acute MI to Heart Failure: the Past, the Present and the Future

Eugene Braunwald,

Published:

Citation: Interventional Cardiology Review 2017;12(1 Suppl 1):5-6.