Eugene Braunwald

Eugene Braunwald
Eugene Braunwald

(1929-08-15) August 15, 1929 (age 92)
Nationality American
Alma mater New York University
Spouse(s) Nina Starr Braunwald (1952-1992, her death)
Elaine Braunwald (current)
Children 3
Awards American College of Cardiology Distinguished Scientist Award (1986)
Scientific career
Fields Medical research,
Institutions National Institutes of Health

Eugene Braunwald (born August 15, 1929 in Vienna, Austria) is an Austrian-born American cardiologist.

Early life

Braunwald was born to Jewish parents Wilhelm Braunwald and Clara Wallach in Vienna. He obtained his A.B. and M.D. at New York University, then completed his residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Braunwald was inspired to pursue a career in cardiology after practicing in the Bellevue Cardiology Clinic, under Ludwig Eichna, during his time as a medical student at New York University.[1] He also attended several cardiology courses in Mexico City, at the National Institute of Cardiology [es]. He always thought that the Mexican School of Cardiology was above any other. "We have the technology but they have the practice. The best book of cardiology is the patient itself," he always argued.[2] Braunwald was inspired to perform research in cardiology after working with André Frédéric Cournand, a pioneer in the technique of cardiac catheterization who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

In 1952, Braunwald married Nina Starr, a thoracic surgeon and medical researcher, with whom he had three children.[3] Nina Starr Braunwald died in 1992.[3] Several years later he married his second wife, Elaine, formerly a senior hospital administrator.[4]


Braunwald served as chief of cardiology and clinical director at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. He was then recruited to the University of California, San Diego where from 1968 to 1972 he was the founding Chair of the Department of Medicine, bringing John Ross, Jr. with him to be the founding Chief of Cardiology. He has since been at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in Boston, MA, where he served from 1972 to 1996 as Chair of the Department of Medicine.

Braunwald's contributions have been recognized by his election as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the creation of a permanently endowed chair in his name by Harvard Medical School, and the establishment of the annual academic mentorship award by the American Heart Association.


In 1966, he was awarded the Jacobi Medallion by the Mount Sinai Alumni (Mount Sinai Hospital) "for distinguished achievement in the field of medicine or extraordinary service to the Hospital, the School, or the Alumni."[5]

In 1986, he received the Distinguished Scientist Award from American College of Cardiology.[6]

In 2001, Braunwald received The Warren Alpert Foundation Prize.

In 2002, Braunwald received the King Faisal Prize for Medicine. The price was shared with co-laureate Professor Finn Waagstein.[7]

In 2004, Braunwald became the inaugural winner of the Libin/AHFMR Prize for Excellence in Cardiovascular Research.[8]

In 2009, he was chairman of a policy group that severely limited outside pay for Harvard physicians.[9]

On May 5, 2010, he received an honorary degree from the University of Rochester. On October 26, 2013, he received a degree honoris causa from the University of Salerno, heir of the ancient Schola Medica Salernitana.[10]


Braunwald has over 1000 publications in peer-reviewed journals. His work has dramatically expanded knowledge of heart disease in the area of congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and valvular heart disease. According to a biographer who studied the research publications of leading cardiologists, Braunwald has "had more publications in the top general medical and cardiology journals than any of the more than 42,000 authors" in the main database (called PubMed) of medical authors.[11] He is the editor of the premier cardiology textbook, Braunwald's Heart Disease, which is now in its 11th edition. Dr. Braunwald was instrumental in running the TIMI (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction) studies, which developed the concepts of thrombosis superimposed on atherosclerosis as the pathological bases for acute myocardial infarction, and has led to treatments that reduce damage to the heart from a heart attack. He also was for over 30 years an editor of one of the premier textbooks of internal medicine, Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine.


Braunwald's lab was the setting for the case of John Darsee. Young fellow researchers in the laboratory caught Darsee fabricating results. Braunwald denied knowledge of this academic misconduct despite two earlier accusations and his own internal investigation which found "no misleading information".[12]


  1. ^ Life and times of leading cardiologists
  2. ^ Interview, Clinical Chemistry
  3. ^ a b Braunwald, E (February 2001). "Nina Starr Braunwald: some reflections on the first woman heart surgeon". The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 71 (2 Suppl): S6–7. doi:10.1016/s0003-4975(00)02397-3. PMID 11235772.
  4. ^ Vanderbilt education lens
  5. ^ "The Mount Sinai Alumni". Archived from the original on 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  6. ^ "ACC Distinguished Awards Program - American College of Cardiology". American College of Cardiology. Archived from the original on 2015-09-27. Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  7. ^ King Faisal Prize: Professor Eugene Braunwald. Retrieved July 18, 2020
  8. ^ "Canadian Journal of Cardiology - Braunwald Libin/AHFMR Prize announcement". Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2008.
  9. ^ Wilson, Duff (January 3, 2010). "Harvard Teaching Hospitals Cap Outside Pay". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  10. ^ Degree honoris causa from the University of Salerno Retrieved October 26, 2013
  11. ^ Lee, Thomas H. Eugene Braunwald and the Rise of Modern Medicine.
  12. ^ "Dishonesty in Medical Research" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-21.

External links