CSANZ 2020

Paul Ridker

Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard, Boston MA USA

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Paul Ridker has been collaboratively responsible for elucidating the critical role of inflammation in the detection, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Best known for his pioneering population biology work on inflammatory biomarkers such as high-sensitivity CRP and interleukin-6, the first demonstrations of the anti-inflammatory effects of statins, the guideline changing JUPITER trial in 2008, and ultimately through the CANTOS interleukin-1b inhibition trial in 2017, Dr. Ridker's work has led to a fundamental shift in our understanding of atherosclerosis and to the first proof that targeted anti-cytokine therapies can lower cardiovascular event rates in the absence of lipid lowering. Insights from his group that the magnitude of inflammation inhibition directly relates to the magnitude of clinical benefit has spawned a novel class of cardiovascular therapeutics, led to the clinical recognition that "residual inflammatory risk" is a separate and distinct entity from "residual cholesterol risk", and opened an entirely novel approach to the treatment of inflammatory lung cancers. Spanning the fields of epidemiology, vascular biology, population genetics, public health, preventive medicine, and clinical trials, Dr. Ridker's career-long focus on inflammatory mechanisms of disease has advanced a controversial concept into a proven clinical intervention. Few clinical investigators have had as much translational influence at the bench, the bedside, and on guidelines for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

While Dr. Ridker’s research efforts are primarily supported by RO1 grants from the National Institutes of Health, he has received additional career support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Leducq Foundation, the Donald W Reynolds Foundation, and the American Heart Association from whom he has been the recipient of a Clinician Scientist Award (1992-197), an Established Investigator Award (1997-2002), and a Distinguished Scientist Award (2013). His work on inflammation, CRP, and atherothrombosis garnered recognition by Time magazine as one of America’s Ten Best Researchers in Science and Medicine (2001) and selection to the “Time 100” (2004). Dr. Ridker has additionally been the Trial Chairman of several multinational trials funding by the NHLBI or industry including PREVENT, PRINCE, Val-MARC, LANCET, JUPITER, SPIRE-1, SPRE-2, CANTOS, CIRT, and PROMINENT. Dr. Ridker has served on multiple federal scientific review panels for United States Food and Drug Administration and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, including a 10-year term on the Board of External Experts. The recipient of several honorary degrees, Dr. Ridker was selected in 2018 to deliver the Distinguished Scientist Lecture at the international American Heart Association meetings.  

Dr. Ridker is the author of over 800 original manuscripts (h-index > 200) related to cardiovascular medicine and is listed as a co-inventor on patents held by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital that relate to the use of inflammatory biomarkers in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

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