Nehal N. Mehta, MD, has been named the inaugural Lasker Clinical Research Scholar and will oversee a new laboratory at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Mehta, director of the Inflammatory Risk Clinic within the preventive cardiology program at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, will head the Laboratory of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases within the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Branch.
Mehta’s research focuses on how inflammation affects insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome, lipoprotein function and atherosclerosis. He also has expertise in nuclear cardiology and uses novel imaging techniques to understand the effect of various exposures on atherosclerotic plaque activity and vascular inflammation.
The Lasker Clinical Research Scholar program is part of a joint initiative of the NIH and the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation designed to nurture the next generation of clinical scientists. Early-stage researchers can compete for the scholar position. If awarded the title, they then can conduct independent clinical and translational research for five to seven years at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md. Scholars have the opportunity to remain at NIH as tenured investigators or join the faculty of an extramural research institution, where they can receive up to five more years of NIH financial support.
Mehta currently is studying cardiovascular risk stratification of patients with psoriasis in an effort to understand the mechanisms of the skin-vascular disease link using psoriasis as a model of the effect of in vivo inflammation on vascular inflammation using FDG PET/CT. His long-term goal is to improve risk stratification and risk prediction for heart disease in novel populations and apply imaging sciences to refine effects of therapeutics and genomics on vascular disease.
Mehta received his MD from George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. and completed his residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is certified in cardiovascular medicine, internal medicine and nuclear cardiology, and is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Heart Association Council on Prevention/Epidemiology, American College of Cardiology, American Society of Echocardiography and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.