Prof Wang Yibin awarded American Heart Association’s Basic Research Prize

Professor Wang Yibin from Duke-NUS Medical School was presented with the 2023 Basic Research Prize by the American Heart Association. The award is presented annually to an individual for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science and who currently runs an exceptional basic science laboratory.

Prof Wang, who is also the director of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Programme at Duke-NUS, was recognised for the impact of his research into the fundamental molecular and genetic mechanisms of cardiovascular physiology and cardiometabolic diseases, including heart failure.

In particular, his focus on a previously little studied aspect of metabolism enabled him and his team to identify a new hallmark of heart failure: the suppression of the breakdown of branched-chain amino acids in the heart. When these amino acids and related metabolites build up, they impair heart function and drive oxidative stress, leading to heart failure. From this discovery, Prof Wang and his team were able to develop a new drug candidate that has since progressed to phase I clinical trials backed by a global pharmaceutical company.

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