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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2018 / February 

Leading clinician scientist on cardiovascular disparities and women’s health to speak at VTCRI on Friday

February 15, 2018

Elizabeth Ofili, M.D., M.P.H, FACC

Elizabeth Ofili, M.D., M.P.H, FACC
Elizabeth Ofili will speak at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute on Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. (Image courtesy of Morehouse School of Medicine)

Elizabeth Ofili, the director of the Clinical Research Center and senior associate dean of clinical and translational research at the Morehouse School of Medicine, will speak at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute at 1 p.m. today (Feb. 16).

Her presentation, “Democratizing Discovery Health with N=Me,” is a part of the Timothy A. Johnson Medical Scholar Lecture Series. The talk will be webcast.

Ofili, who is also a professor of medicine and who previously served as chief of the section of cardiology at Morehouse School of Medicine, specializes in preventative cardiology through the early detection and treatment of heart disease. She will describe a patient-centered model of care delivery in the context of health equity. She will present data on how patients with Type 2 diabetes self-monitor using mobile app technology and also discuss the challenges and lessons learned based on the behavior change theory for patient engagement.

“Dr. Ofili has made multiple  important contributions to our understanding of heart health and heart disease, including the role of varying levels of intensiveness in controlling high blood pressure, particularly in women and minorities; on the importance of nitric oxide signaling in cardiovascular function; on heart failure and coronary artery disease; and on the application of trans-esophageal echocardiography. She is also an important voice on the national scene for research and improved evidence-based cardio-metabolic health care,” said Michael Friedlander, the founding executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and Virginia Tech’s vice president of health sciences and technology.

In addition to her work at the Morehouse School of Medicine, Ofili also serves as the senior co-principal investigator of the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health Research Centers in Minority Institutions Translational Research Network.

She has made key contributions to advance understanding of heart health and heart disease, including the role of varying levels of medication intervention to control high blood pressure, particularly in women and minorities, on the role of nitric oxide signaling in cardiovascular function, on heart failure, and on the mechanisms of coronary artery disease.

Ofili is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, and she is the recipient of more than 20 national and international awards, including the 2003 National Library of Medicine’s, “Changing the Face of Medicine, the Rise of America’s Women.” She received  the Charles Richard Drew Award for Outstanding Research on Cardiovascular Diseases in Emerging Populations, the Outstanding Contributions and Dedicated Public Service Award from the Foundation for the Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, the Physician of the Year Award of the U.S. Congressional Physician Advisory Board, and the Center for Clinical Research Excellence Award from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health. She received the Daniel Savage Memorial Science Award from the Association of Black Cardiologists; America's Top Doctors by Black Enterprise Magazine; and 100 most influential health care leaders by Atlanta Business Chronicle. She has been selected as one of the 25 most influential African-Americans by Black Health Magazine.  

She has published more than 130 scientific papers in national and international journals. As an Association of American Medical Colleges 2007 Council of Dean Fellow, Ofili led a project on best practices for sustaining the biomedical and physician workforce. She has advised the National Institutes of Health on diversity in the biomedical research workforce, and she currently serves on the Advisory Board of the National Clinical Center and the Association of American Medical Colleges advisory panel on research. She is an elected member of the Association of University Cardiologists and is on the board of directors of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute.  

Ofili received her medical degree from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, and her master of public health in epidemiology and clinical trials from Johns Hopkins University. She completed an internal medicine residency at City of Faith Medical and Research Center and a clinical cardiology fellowship at Barnes Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis before joining the faculty of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.  In addition to her accomplishments, Ofili leads a foundation in her home country of Nigeria that provides opportunities for high school girls to become engaged in science.   

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