Howard wins national award for career accomplishments in stroke prevention and heart disease

UAB’s Virginia Howard has been honored for her work to find novel and powerful approaches to reduce the burden of stroke and heart disease.

virginia howardThe National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention has awarded Virginia Howard, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the UAB School of Public Health, the National Forum Commitment Award for 2015. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that have helped advance heart disease and stroke prevention above and beyond the norm. 

The National Forum is a collection of organizations and associations working to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke in the United States, including the Federal Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, the CDC Foundation, American Society of Preventive Cardiology, American Society of Hypertension, American College of Cardiology, and the American College of Preventive Medicine, among others.

Howard is a stroke epidemiologist with experience in multicenter stroke clinical trials and observational cohort studies. She received a master’s degree in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Her research interests include stroke symptoms and associated risk factors, early life exposures related to health later in life, and risk factors for outcomes following carotid endarterectomy and carotid stenting.

She is the principal investigator of the Statistical and Data Management Center for the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy vs. Stenting Trial — or CREST trial — a multicenter, secondary stroke prevention clinical trial funded by the NINDS. The major goal of this trial is to contrast the relative efficacy of carotid angioplasty stenting versus carotid endarterectomy in preventing stroke. UAB’s role is to provide overall clinical trial management, statistical collaboration and analyses, and design and maintenance of systems to receive and manage data from participating clinics and core labs across North America. She is also co-principal investigator of the recently initiated Carotid Revascularization and Medical Management for Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis Trial, CREST-2, in which UAB plays a similar role to that in CREST.

Howard is also the co-principal investigator for the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke — or REGARDS — a national, population-based longitudinal study of African-Americans and whites to determine risk factors that will help explain the excess stroke mortality in the Southeastern United States and among African-Americans across the United States.

Howard will receive the award as part of the 13th National Forum annual meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 21, in Washington, D.C.