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January 8, 2003


Emory Physician Named President and Board Chairman of the National Lipid Association

W. Virgil Brown, MD, Charles Howard professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine, was recently elected President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Lipid Association (NLA). The board is composed of 30 members representing seven regional areas and related organizations. The NLA was organized in 2002 from its regional entity, the Southeast Lipid Association, for which Dr. Brown served as the first president from 1998 to1999.

The NLA serves the community of lipid professionals who manage patients with lipid disorders and increased cardiovascular risk. Lipids are fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides that circulate in the blood as components of particles called lipoproteins. Lipoprotein cholesterol is measured to determine risk of heart disease.

"I am highly honored to be elected the first president of the NLA," said Dr. Brown. "The new Board is representative of the very best in capable and dedicated health professionals and I am looking forward to working with them to develop an organization that will accelerate the current progress in preventing the nation's number one killer through better management of lipid disorders.

"The awareness of the contribution of lipid disorders to vascular disease has made lipid management a necessary component of any system delivering medical care," he continued. "This year, we’re focusing on defining the goals and objectives that will make the NLA successful. We hope to involve all regions of the country to define needs and develop programs that will serve those needs."

Dr. Brown came to Emory University in 1991 as the Charles Howard Professor of Internal Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. He also serves as the director of the Division of Arteriosclerosis and Lipid Metabolism and has been the chief of Medicine and Primary Care Services at the Atlanta Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center since 1998.

During his 38-year medical career, Dr. Brown has focused research on the structure of metabolism and lipoproteins. His research has helped define the role of lipase enzymes in breaking down triglycerides so that they could be removed from the blood stream by various organs in the body. Dr. Brown’s studies have also helped understand how various dietary changes and medications alter the metabolism of lipoproteins to correct high levels of cholesterol.

After receiving his undergraduate degree in physics and chemistry from Emory University and his M.D. in 1964 from Yale University, Dr. Brown completed housestaff training in Internal Medicine at John Hopkins then began his research career as a Clinical Associate at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NIH). Over the years, he has been very committed to the American Heart Association, serving a term as the national president from 1991-1992.

He is currently a fellow of both the American Heart Association and the American College of Physicians.

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