Dr. Gerardo Heiss, Kenan Distinguished Professor of epidemiology at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, was awarded the American Heart Association’s 2015 Epidemiology and Prevention Mentoring Award on March 5. Dr. Heiss accepted the award at the Association’s annual Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions, held in Baltimore March 3-6.
[Photo: UNC’s Dr. Gerardo Heiss (center) accepts AHA’s mentoring award at the Association’s conference in Baltimore on March 5. Photo by AHA/Todd Buchanan (© 2015)]
The award highlights the importance of superior mentoring in cardiovascular epidemiologic research by honoring those who provide exceptional individual and institutional mentoring and advocacy for CV epidemiology researchers.
Dr. Heiss, a member of the UNC Gillings School faculty since 1976, has been recipient of numerous school awards and honors. He received the Edward C. McGavran Award for Teaching in 1993 and the Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award in 1998. In 2011, he received the highly competitive John E. Larsh Award for Mentorship.
“He is level-headed, brilliant, and modest – a rare combination of traits in the Academy,” one nominator proclaimed at that time. “He has achieved his professional success by demonstrating the principles of hard work, scientific and professional integrity, and clear oral and written communication that he expects of his students,” said another.
After earning a medical degree from University of Chile in 1968, Dr. Heiss received a Master of Science from the London School of Hygiene at the University of London (1973) and a doctorate in epidemiology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1976). An expert in the area of cardiovascular health research, he is author of some 340 publications in refereed journals.
“Dr. Heiss richly deserves this important AHA award,” said Dr. Andrew Olshan, professor and chair of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School. “His receiving it confirms what many here have known for years – that Gerardo is an exceptional mentor for students and faculty members alike. His recognition for mentoring adds to an already illustrious record of teaching and research leadership.”
The annual AHA epidemiology conference promotes the development and application of translational and population science related to promotion of cardiovascular health and the prevention of heart disease and stroke.