Boston, Mass. – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) senior neurologist Louis R. Caplan, MD, has received the American Heart Association’s Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award. The award recognizes individuals whose academic careers have included a long-term record of successful mentoring of promising young academicians.
Caplan received the award at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019 in Philadelphia. The Association’s Scientific Sessions is an annual, premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.
“Dr. Caplan has trained an entire generation of outstanding new leaders in the field of stroke neurology,” said Robert A. Harrington, MD, FAHA, president of the American Heart Association. “His exceptional passion and decades-long commitment to training promising young academicians deserves the highest recognition.”
Colin P. Derdeyn, MD, immediate past chair of the American Heart Association’s Stroke Council, called Caplan a “giant” in clinical stroke neurology.
“He has trained an army of leaders in the field,” said Derdeyn. “There may be no other living physician in our field with such a legacy. His trainees have all been outstanding clinicians, reflecting Lou’s core strength as a clinician-educator. In addition, many have gone on to major leadership roles in clinical trials, academic institutions and national societies, including the American Heart Association.”
Caplan joined Beth Israel Hospital in 1970, and served as Chief of the Neurology Division from 1972 until 1975. He later moved to Michael Reese Hospital at the University of Chicago; and New England Medical Center, Tufts University, and was Chairman of the Neurology Department at both institutions. Caplan subsequently moved back to BIDMC in 1998, and headed the Stroke Division from 1998 until 2005. During his career, Caplan mentored generations of medical students and house staff as well as 78 cerebrovascular fellows, 30 of them international.
“Dr. Caplan is an outstanding scholar and internationally recognized leader in the field of stroke,” said Clifford Saper, MD, the Chairman of the Neurology Department at BIDMC. “He is also an outstanding teacher and mentor, and highly deserving of this award.”
He has published 50 books and over 700 monographs, studies and reviews in the fields of neurology and stroke.
He is “highly regarded by colleagues and former students for his personal and professional ethics,” said Derdeyn. “He is also known for his deeply held belief in the importance of personalized care for stroke patients, an approach he encouraged among his mentees.”
“I and many others who choose a career in academic medicine strive to make important scientific and clinical advances in our chosen fields,” said Caplan. “With time, we discover that our most significant and durable accomplishments are those we give to those who follow us – our students, fellows, and younger colleagues. We bequeath to our mentees – our modus operandi – our approach to issues, situations, patients, people and the public. We teach them how to learn, how to act, and we provide role models for interpersonal relationships, ethics, and behavior.”
Caplan has also held more than 50 named lectureships, participated on more than 30 editorial boards and served in leadership roles on the American Heart Association’s Stroke Council, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, the Association of University Professors of Neurology, Boston and Chicago neurological societies, Harvard University and numerous other organizations and institutions in medicine.