Steven R. Houser, PhD, FAHA, Senior Associate Dean of Research, Vera J. Goodfriend Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Research, Chair and Professor of Physiology, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Gold Heart Award – the American Heart Association’s highest volunteer honor. Dr. Houser was selected to receive the prestigious award for his 35+ years of service to the American Heart Association (AHA). He will receive the award during the AHA’s annual board meeting on June 22.
“I am truly honored and humbled to be receiving this award from the American Heart Association, an award which has been given to some of the world’s most prestigious cardiovascular scientists and physicians,” said Dr. Houser. “It’s been one of the great honors of my career to be able to serve the AHA in a variety of roles over the years.”
Dr. Houser has served in more than two dozen different capacities for the AHA including President of the national organization; Member of the Board of Directors; Chair of the Research Committee; Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee; Chair of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science; and President of the AHA Southeastern PA affiliate. He was also honored with the Edward S. Cooper, MD Award at the AHA Philadelphia Heart Ball in 2019. The award honors “a physician, researcher or medical professional whose many outstanding contributions to the Philadelphia community exemplify the best of humankind.”
Dr. Houser is an internationally respected cardiovascular researcher who has been a Lewis Katz School of Medicine faculty member for more than four decades. He has been on a quest to prevent and repair damage to heart cells, with the goal of changing the lives of patients with heart disease. The research in Dr. Houser’s laboratory is focused on those processes that maintain the electrical and contractile properties of the normal heart and the defects in these processes that lead to electrical instability (arrhythmias and sudden death) and poor cardiac pump performance (congestive heart failure). Dr. Houser and his team are currently continuing studies of the determinants of the two major forms of human heart failure: heart failure with reduced and preserved ejection fraction (HFrEF and HFpEF). The goals of this work are to define causes of the disorders and then develop more effective therapies for their treatment. The Houser lab’s newest work suggests structural and functional cardiac defects in HFpEF can be reversed with treatment with a drug that has previously been used to successfully treat cancer patients.
Dr. Houser earned his PhD in Physiology and completed a research fellowship at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. He joined the Lewis Katz School of Medicine faculty as an Assistant Professor of Physiology in 1979.