Dr. Calum MacRae, vice chair for scientific innovation at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, visited Pauley in September for two days to work with faculty and share his research as the Congdon Visiting Scholar. In 2016, MacRae received a $75 million grant from the American Heart Association, called the “One Brave Idea” initiative—the largest one-time award in the organization’s history.
The One Brave Idea team is comprised of leading scientists from multiple disciplines working together to understand the earliest stages of coronary heart disease. The group is exploring how the disease develops and how to stop it from leading to heart attacks and strokes.
At grand rounds, faculty meetings, and a Pauley research conference, MacRae discussed his work, which includes the analysis of genetic, molecular and cellular signals that indicate the early formation of heart disease. He also attended dinners with Pauley leaders, and Susan Terry, John Congdon Jr. and Jeffrey Congdon, whose parents, Natalie N. and Jack R. Congdon Sr., established the visiting scholar program in VCU School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology in 2010.
The purpose of the fund is to bring internationally recognized cardiologists to Pauley to work with faculty and share their research.
“For medical advancements to reach their ultimate potential, it is essential that all the medical centers around the world work together, sharing the results of their findings, and brainstorming together to meet the challenges of discovering a better way, a better drug, a better tool, or a better prevention,” said John Congdon Jr.