ISTH Secretary General Honored as AHA Distinguished Scientist
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The American Heart Association (AHA) honored Bruce Furie, ISTH Secretary General, as a 2014 Distinguished Scientist. The prestigious award, which recognizes AHA members for “significant, original and sustained scientific contributions that have advanced the association’s mission,” will be presented to six honorees at the AHA Scientific Sessions on November 15.
A world leader in his field, Furie is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Hemostasis and Thrombosis at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). In addition to serving as Secretary General since 2011, Furie is also a past President of ISTH Congress 2009 and a former member of the editorial board of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. In 2011, he received an ISTH Distinguished Career Award, and he also received an ISTH Investigator Recognition Award in 1987.
Furie's major research activities involve the study of the structure-function relationships of the blood coagulation proteins, the structural biology of Factors VIII, IX and prothrombin, and the biology of P-selectin. With real-time confocal and widefield imaging of thrombus formation in the microcirculation of a live mouse, Furie and his colleagues study the pathophysiology of thrombosis and established a critical role for thiol isomerases in this process.
“Bruce Furie’s work has provided the medical community with critically important insights into exactly how blood clots form,” said BIDMC Chair of Medicine Mark Zeidel in a BIDMC press release. “His one-of-a-kind widefield and confocal imaging system has shown that a critical series of enzymes known for their participation in protein synthesis are also required for thrombus formation.”
BIDMC Chief Academic Officer Vikas Sukhatme added, “Dr. Furie is the quintessential translational scientist. His lab’s discovery that protein disulfide isomerase [PDI] plays a critical role in blood clot formation is a prime example of how basic research can reach the patient. He and members of his group have now embarked on clinical trials to test whether PDI can serve as an improved target for a novel class of antithrombotics.”
Furie received his AB from Princeton University and his MD from the University of Pennsylvania. After residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). After clinical hematology training, he, with Barbara C. Furie, established their joint laboratory at New England Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine in 1975; he became Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology from 1990 to 1996. Upon moving to the BIDMC in 1997, he was Director of their Cancer Center.
Other honors that Furie has received include the Dameshek Prize of the American Society of Hematology, a MERIT Award from the NIH and an honorary degree from Lund University (Sweden). Additionally, Furie served as a co-editor of Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice and lead editor of Clinical Hematology-Oncology: Presentations, Diagnosis and Treatment.
See the full list of 2014 AHA Distinguished Scientist awardees here, which also includes another ISTH member, Charles T. Esmon, the 2013 recipient of ISTH’s Robert P. Grant Medal.