Physician-Scientist Kenneth Bernstein, MD, Receives Distinguished Scientist Designation from American Heart Association

Distinguished Scientist title is organization’s third major award since 2005 to hypertension researcher


Los Angeles - Aug. 20, 2013Kenneth Bernstein, MD, a Cedars-Sinai pathologist and scientific researcher known for expanding the understanding of a collection of proteins important in controlling blood pressure as well as heart and renal diseases, has been named a 2013 Distinguished Scientist by the American Heart Association.

This lifetime achievement award was established in 2003 and is the highest honor bestowed on researchers by the association. It is the third time Bernstein has been honored by the AHA. In 2005, Bernstein was a recipient of the Novartis Prize for Hypertension Research. Two years later, he was awarded the American Heart Association’s Basic Research Prize.

Bernstein formally will receive the Distinguished Scientist title at the start of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Nov. 16-20, in Dallas. He will join the ranks of 75 other eminent scientists, physicians and researchers – including 11 Nobel Prize recipients and Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute – whose significant scientific contributions have advanced the understanding and treatment of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

“Dr. Bernstein has earned the prestigious title of Distinguished Scientist by making several important discoveries concerning the role of angiotensin converting enzyme, often called ACE, in blood pressure control, renal function, immune response and reproduction,” said Shlomo Melmed, MD, senior vice president of Academic Affairs, dean of the Cedars-Sinai medical faculty and the Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Chair in Investigative Medicine. “His work in the laboratory fuels life-saving advances in patient care. This award is a testament to the outstanding creative scholarly achievements of Dr. Bernstein.”

Bernstein has studied the human body’s renin-angiotensin system since 1987. This collection of enzymes plays a critical role in the control of blood pressure and in kidney function. Bernstein is recognized internationally for his cloning of the angiotensin II receptor and for his many studies of angiotensin converting enzyme, the enzyme responsible for the production of the vasoconstrictor angiotensin II.