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Dr Michelle Albert is the current president of the Association of Black Cardiologists, the 60th president of the Association of University Cardiologists, and the president-elect of the American Heart Association. She is the first cardiologist to hold these three leadership positions simultaneously and is a recipient of multiple awards for her research and advocacy work.
She attributes much of her career passion to her early upbringing in Guyana and exposure to the effects of economic, educational, and health disparities. Her grandfather’s sudden death in his early 60s, coupled with her experience growing up in a resource-limited country and her love of science, ultimately led her down the physician-scientist career path. She moved to Brooklyn, New York, as teenager and her experiences in a second resource-poor environment further fortified her passion for medicine and to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable populations.
What motivated you to focus your cardiac research on ‘the biology of adversity?’
During my upbringing in Guyana, I witnessed poverty and how it links to health conditions. Everyone faces adversity in life, however not all adversity leads to poor health outcomes. Experiencing adversity is something people can relate to.
Due to my chemistry background, my initial research projects were rooted in basic science. However, I wanted to translate this work to the community. My goal was to use my interest in biochemical mechanisms and molecules, and relate these to population science. As my work evolved, …
Contributors BA conducted the interview and drafted the article.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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