Dr. Alvaro Alonso Selected as Inaugural Clements Distinguished Professor

May 6, 2020

By Kelly Jordan

Alvaro Alonso, MD, PhD, has been selected as the inaugural Stephen D. Clements, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Research after a competitive national search led by Dr. Viola Vaccarino.

This position was established in January 2018 by the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation to honor Stephen D. Clements, Jr., MD, a distinguished Emory cardiologist and longtime friend of the Rollins family, who has dedicated his career to clinical care, prevention, and discovery in cardiovascular disease. 

Alonso is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and joined the Emory faculty in 2016. He completed his medical degree and PhD in epidemiology at the University of Navarra and his residency at Hospital Virgen del Camino, all in Pamplona, Spain. He served a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Over the course of his career, he has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed journal articles, and is actively engaged with a number of editorial boards and professional organizations, including the Society for Epidemiologic Research, American Heart Association, and American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. 

At Rollins, he serves on the PhD Admissions Committee, PhD Program Committee, and EPI Curriculum Implementation Committee. At a university level, Alonso is a member of both the Responsible Conduct of Research Tracking Working Group and the STEM Symposium Organizing Committee. 

A cardiovascular disease epidemiologist, Alonso's research expertise centers around the nutritional, lifestyle, clinical, and genetic determinants of cardiovascular disorders. For the last decade, his work has focused on the epidemiology of cardiac arrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation (AF), mostly in the context of large epidemiologic studies, and using large health care claims databases. 

Through his work, Alonso has made significant contributions to the identifications of lifestyles, clinical variables, biomarkers, and genetic factors associated with AF and its outcomes, as well as to the study of the comparative effectiveness of direct oral anticoagulants for the prevention of stroke in patients with AF. Recently, he has taken a major role in multiple analyses evaluating associations of cardiovascular risk factors with cognitive decline and dementia incidence. 

This distinguished professorship will support Alonso's outstanding research and teaching as he continues to lead innovative cardiovascular research at Emory University.