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Preventing the Nationís Leading Cause of Death:
Heart Disease

Denise Simons-Morton, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.
Director, Clinical Applications and Prevention Program
Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Photo of Denise Simons-Morton

Dr. Denise Simons-Morton earned her B.S. in zoology and psychology with high honors from University of Maryland College Park in 1973. She earned an M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore in 1979, an M.P.H. in 1982 from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore, and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston in 1991. She was preventive medicine resident at the University of Maryland School of Medicine from 1980-1983, serving as chief resident in 1982-83.

After working for several years on the faculty of the University of Texas Health Science Center in Galveston, Texas and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, Dr. Simons-Morton, joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Instituteís Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications in 1992 as research medical officer in the Prevention and Demonstration Research Branch. From 1994 to 2002 she was leader of the Prevention Scientific Research Group, which develops, funds, and oversees research on cardiovascular disease prevention. Since 2002 she has been director of the Clinical Applications Prevention Program (CAPP), where she provides administrative and scientific oversight for a research program that focuses on applied research in heart disease prevention, behavioral medicine, and clinical trials of cardiology treatments.

Dr. Simons-Morton has been a collaborator on numerous clinical trials--including individual-level as well as cluster randomized designs--addressing topics such as effects of dietary interventions on blood cholesterol or blood pressure, effects of treatment strategies for diabetes on cardiovascular disease events, effects of behavioral approaches on health-care seeking behaviors, and approaches to improve cardiovascular-related health behaviors.

She is author or co-author of about 75 journal or book publications, which primarily focus on cardiovascular disease prevention topics. Her primary research interests are in lifestyle approaches and risk factor treatments for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

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