American Heart Association Council Honors UK Cardiovascular Researcher

The American Heart Association’s Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB) will award Nancy Webb, a professor of pharmacology and nutritional sciences at the University of Kentucky, with its 2015 AHA Special Recognition Award in Arteriosclerosis.

The ATVB council supports basic, translational and clinical research concerned with diseases of the blood vessels. The council annually bestows the Special Recognition Award to a member who has contributed significantly to the scientific council over time and enhanced this field of the profession. Arteriosclerosis, the leading cause of heart attack and stroke, occurs when plaque gradually accumulates in the arteries.

Webb, a member of the Saha Cardiovascular Research Center and the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, investigates high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or the “good” cholesterol. Whereas low-density lipoproteins (LDL, the “bad” cholesterol) accumulate in the blood vessels to form plaques and cause cardiovascular disease, HDL protects against cardiovascular disease by removing cholesterol from blood vessels. Webb and her research team study the mechanisms that regulate HDL levels in the blood, and how inflammation impacts the metabolism and function of HDL.

In addition to her research contributions, Webb has actively promoted women’s participation in the field of arteriosclerosis research and mentored early career scientists in the ATVB council. She has chaired the research committee for the AHA Great Rivers Affiliate and served on the GRA Executive Board from 2012-2014. She was recently appointed to the National AHA Peer Review Steering Committee. She became a member of the AHA scientific council in 1999.

Nationally, the AHA funds more cardiovascular research than any other organization besides the National Institutes of Health. Webb will receive her award during the AHA Scientific Sessions Annual Conference, Nov. 7-11, in Orlando, Fla.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu