Newswise — CLEVELAND — Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD, FACC, has been awarded the 2021 Distinguished Scientist Award – Translational Domain by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for his contributions to the cardiovascular profession. Dr. Rajagopalan will be recognized with other 2021 Distinguished Award-winners at the 70th Annual Scientific Session & Expo happening May 15-17 in Atlanta and presented virtually.

“Dr. Rajagopalan has made lasting contributions to the field of cardiovascular medicine through his dedication to improving cardiovascular health and enhancing patient care,” said ACC President Athena Poppas, MD, FACC. “It is an honor to be able to recognize Dr. Rajagopalan with the Distinguished Scientist Award – Translational Domain and celebrate his tremendous achievements in the cardiovascular field.”

The Distinguished Scientist Award – Translational Domain is awarded to a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology who has made major scientific contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the field of cardiovascular disease. The award is given to three recipients; one in each of the basic, clinical and translational domains.

Dr. Rajagopalan is the Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine and Herman K. Hellerstein, MD, Chair in Cardiovascular Research, University Hospitals (UH) Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute; and Director of the Case Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Dr. Rajagopalan is among an elite group of physician scientists whose work has helped transform global perceptions and understanding of the impact of environmental risk factors on cardiovascular disease. Additionally, he has made seminal contributions toward the development of next-generation therapeutic modalities for cardiovascular disease and is a leading authority in advancing innovative approaches for the imaging of complex cardiovascular disorders.

“It is no surprise to the UH Harrington Heart & Vascular family that Dr. Rajagopalan has been recognized by the ACC for his commitment to translational science. His contributions to UH are invaluable and his research is defining the future of medicine,” said Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD, President, UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute; Angela and James Hambrick Master Clinician in Innovation; and Professor at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

“Dr. Rajagopalan’s work integrating clinical and basic investigations has yielded new understanding regarding how environmental influences such as air pollution impact cardiovascular health,” said Mukesh K. Jain, MD, Chief Academic Officer, University Hospitals; Ellery Sedgwick, Jr. Chair and Distinguished Scientist in Cardiovascular Research, UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute; Harrington Endowed Scientific Director, UH Harrington Discovery Institute; and Vice Dean of University Hospitals Affairs, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. “The breadth and depth of his contributions are very significant and have informed public health policies worldwide. He is incredibly deserving of this important recognition from the ACC.”

Dr. Rajagopalan’s research has been continually funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), American Association of Physicians (AAP), Association of University Cardiologists (AUC) and the Association of Professors of Cardiology (APC).

Dr. Rajagopalan has published more than 300 original peer-reviewed research publications in journals such as JAMA, The New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, The Journal of Clinical Investigation and Circulation Research, and led more than 300 invited editorials and reviews. He has also served as an editor for at least two textbooks and several monographs on vascular disease and atherosclerosis. 

Nineteen Distinguished Awards will be presented at ACC.21 this year, each recognizing an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of cardiovascular medicine. Recipients are nominated by their peers and then selected by the ACC Awards Committee.


About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 20 hospitals (including 5 joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located in Cleveland’s University Circle, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The main campus also includes University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, a high-volume national referral center for complex cardiovascular procedures; and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and urology. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to Harrington Discovery Institute, part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with 28,000 physicians and employees. Advancing the Science of Health and the Art of Compassion is UH’s vision for benefitting its patients into the future, and the organization’s unwavering mission is To Heal. To Teach. To Discover. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook @UniversityHospitals and Twitter @UHhospitals. For more information, visit

About Case Western Reserve University Case Western Reserve University is one of the country's leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 5,100 undergraduate and 6,700 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.

The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its 54,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit