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Prof. Dr.

Garret A. FitzGerald

Year of election: 2018
Section: Physiology and Pharmacology/Toxicology
City: Philadelphia, PA
Country: USA
CV Garret A. FitzGerald - Deutsch (PDF)
CV Garret A. FitzGerald - English (PDF)

Research

Research focuses: Cardiovascular diseases, heart attack prevention, molecular clocks, pharmaceutical research, low-dose aspirin therapy, COX-2 inhibitors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Garret A. FitzGerald is a pharmacologist and physician. He analyses the effective mechanisms of medications and is an internationally recognized expert in the field of cardiovascular diseases. His discoveries contributed fundamentally to the development of low dose aspirin for cardioprotection and to recognition of the cardiovascular consequences of inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2.

The development of low-dose aspirin therapy for the prevention of heart attacks led to his becoming internationally renowned. He developed and applied biochemical methods for assessing aspirin’s dose dependent inhibition of prostaglandins and discovered that low doses inhibited platelets in the presystemic circulation. Additionally, he made the unexpected observation that therapeutic thrombolysis activated platelets and that combination with a platelet inhibitor, like aspirin, as adjuvant therapy greatly enhanced efficacy, a prediction confirmed by clinical trials. FitzGerald and his colleagues discovered a mechanism that predicted that anti-inflammatory drugs - so-called COX- 2 inhibitors, a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) – would pose a cardiovascular threat to some patients. The link between these drugs and heart attacks and strokes was confirmed in ensuing studies and leading to withdrawl of two drugs (Vioxx and Bextra) from the market. Building on this research, he has sought to integrate studies in humans and model systems with the aim of predicting the effectiveness and cardiovascular safety at the individual patient level.

Photo: Sabina louise pierce

FitzGerald's lab was the first to discover the presence of a molecular clock in the cardiovascular system. It helps control circadian rhythms, which include sleep/wake cycles, metabolism, blood pressure and body temperature. FitzGerald has used model systems to analyse the role this "timer" plays in adiposity, cardiovascular functions, microbiome modelling and the uptake of drugs. Presently he is characterizing the human chronobiome with the objectives of studying its decay in aging and of elucidating mechanisms that underlie time dependent disease phenotypes.

Career

  • since 2004 Director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
  • 1996-2017 Chair for Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics
  • since 1994 Professor and chair owner for medicine and pharmacology and founding director, Center for Experimental Therapeutics (CET), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 1991-1994 Professor and chair owner at the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • 1980-1990 Scientific assistant and (from 1987) Director, Clinical Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
  • 1980 Doctorate in pharmacology, University College, Dublin
  • Scholar, Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Köln, Germany
  • Studies of medicine an natural sciences, University College Dublin

Honours and Memberships

  • since 2018 Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • 2014 St. Patrick's Day Medal, Science Foundation Ireland
  • 2013 Schottenstein Prize
  • 2013 Lefoulon-Delalande Prize, Institut de France
  • 2013 Scheele Award, Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Science
  • 2012 Lucian Award
  • 2012 Fellow der Royal Society (FRS)
  • 2011 Jakob-Herz Prize of the Medical faculty, University Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • 2009 Taylor Prize
  • 2007 Cameron Prize
  • 2005 Boyle Medal

American Heart Association’s Distinguished Scientist Award
Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad
Phillips Award
PhRMA Foundation Award
Hunter Award
Member of the US-National Academy of Medicine
Fellow der American Academy of Arts and Sciences und der Accademia dei Lincei
Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy
Honorary doctorates of the National University of Ireland, the University of Edinburgh, the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt King‘s College, London and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

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