Stephen Vatner

Stephen F. Vatner

Stephen F. Vatner is currently Professor and Director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical School. He received his B.A degree from Grinnell College in Iowa and went on to medical school at New York University.  Vatner did his intern and residency training at the University of Virginia and Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle.  He has held academic positions at the University of California, San Diego, Harvard Medical School, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, and Weis Center for Research, Penn State College of Medicine.  He joined University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical School in 2000.

Vatner's research aims are directed at expanding the knowledge of mechanisms of cardiovascular control in normal and disease states; these discoveries have led to innovative new approaches to the treatment of heart and blood vessel diseases. He has made important contributions to the understanding of cardiovascular mechanisms at the molecular level, including those regulating adrenergic neural control, exercise and inotropic state. As an integrative physiologist, he has been a pioneer in delineating how normal physiologic controls that go astray can contribute to the pathogenesis in myocardial ischemia, heart failure and reperfusion injury.

In 1975, Vatner and his colleagues published studies describing a new concept in the control of ischemic heart, myocardial stunning. This seminal work opened the way to the now-accepted concepts of myocardial hibernation, reperfusion injury, cardiac protection and pre-conditioning. When coronary vasospasm was receiving renewed attention, his research provided insights into coronary artery diameter control. More recently, Vatner has used transgenic animals to identify altered cardiovascular control mechanisms and receptor coupling in the disease process of heart failure. His findings are documented in more than 350 peer-reviewed scientific publications.

In addition to his research, Dr. Vatner has also made significant contributions to the academic and scientific communities and the area of public service. He has trained more than 90 postdoctoral research fellows (since 1972), including more than 20 who now hold full professorships

Vatner served as editor-in-chief of the American Heart Association journal Circulation Research from 1991 to 1999.  Vatner has received numerous honors and awards, including the Scientific Councils Distinguished Achievement Award of the American Heart Association in 1998, the George E. Brown Lecturer in 1986, the 1995 Wiggers Award of the American Physiological Society, the 2005 Distinguished Scientist of the American Heart Association Award and the 2011 Robert M. Berne Distinguished Lectureship Award of the American Physiological Society.