The American Heart Association presented one of its highest honors, the Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award, to time-honored medical epidemiologist Jeremiah Stamler, M.D., of Northwestern University in Chicago.

The award lauded Stamler “for his far-reaching contributions to the development of generations of cardiovascular scientists during a long career devoted to making and translating research discoveries into medical and public health strategies.”

American Heart Association President Elliott Antman, M.D.,  presented the award during the opening ceremonies of the association’s Scientific Sessions 2014 at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center. Nearly 20,000 people attended the conference.

“As one of the founders of the disciplines of cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention, Dr. Stamler has led the advancement of these disciplines for more than half a century, teaching and mentoring hundreds of young researchers who in turn generate worldwide progress in scientific discovery, medical practice and education,” Antman said.

“While playing a seminal role in research about factors influencing cardiovascular disease risk, Dr. Stamler has been extraordinarily influential in providing both formal training and incidental learning opportunities benefitting countless young investigators,” Antman said. “Testimonials to his devotion to his mentees abound among generations of epidemiologists, nutritionists, basic scientists, public health specialists, physicians, students and colleagues.”

Stamler, professor emeritus at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, began his storied career in 1943 after serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II. He joined Northwestern in 1958 and was founding chair of the medical school’s Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine in 1972. He is noted worldwide for his leadership of international seminars on cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention.