News Release: Emory Healthcare, School of Medicine

Mar. 31,  2009

American College of Cardiology Names Emory Cardiologist a Master

In a legendary career that spans more than 50 years, Nanette K. Wenger, MD, has provided a steadfast dedication to reducing women’s disability and death from cardiovascular disease has made her one of the country’s most-respected experts on coronary heart disease in women. Now the American College of Cardiology has recognized her with its highest honor of Master.

Wenger received the distinguished Master award at the 2009 American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions convocation ceremony in Orlando. Established in 1998, only four Master designations from peer nominations are awarded each year – including one to the outgoing president of the college. 

Half a century ago heart disease was thought of as a "man's disease." Today, thanks to the pioneering clinical and research efforts of Wenger, a professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine, and chief of cardiology at Grady Memorial Hospital, it is known that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the United States accounting for 38 percent of all female deaths, more mortality than all forms of cancers combined.

One of the main reasons for the disparity is heart disease symptoms can present differently in women than those in men. 

"One of every three women will develop heart disease and in particular coronary disease in her lifetime, so it's important that we consider lifetime risks and not just short term risks when we try to prevent coronary disease in women," says Wenger, who helped write the 2007 Guidelines for Preventing Cardiovascular Disease in Women.

"My association with the American College of Cardiology spans over half a century," says Wenger. "Therefore, I am most honored to receive this award and humbled in joining the distinguished group of MACC recipients."

A native of New York City and a graduate of Hunter College and the Harvard Medical School, Wenger received her medical and cardiology training at Mount Sinai Hospital before coming to Emory University School of Medicine and Grady Memorial Hospital in 1958. Since then she has been a trailblazer and icon in the field of cardiology as author and co-author of more than 1,300 scientific and review articles and book chapters. 

Wenger has chaired the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Conference on Cardiovascular Health and Disease in Women. She also holds the title of first woman president of the American Heart Association Georgia chapter and has served as vice present and executive committee member of the American Heart Association; Governor for Georgia, Secretary and member of the Board of Trustees of the American College of Cardiology; a member of the U.S. FDA Cardiovascular-Renal Drugs Advisory Committee; president of the Scientific Council on the Rehabilitation of Cardiac Patients of the International Society and Federation of Cardiology; president of the Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association of North America and board chair for the Society for Women’s Health Research, the nation’s only non-profit organization devoted to improving the health of all women through research, education, and advocacy.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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