ISHLT Honors Hannah Valantine for Lifetime Achievement in Treating Advanced Heart Disease

Published 28 April 2022
  • Achievement Award
  • Grants, Awards & Scholarships
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Society celebrates three decades of Dr. Valantine’s contributions to the thoracic transplant community

BOSTON, MA – 28 April, 2022 – During its 42nd Annual Meeting in Boston, the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation honored the recipient of the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award, Hannah Valantine, MD, FRCP, MBBS.

Headshot of Hannah Valantine“I am deeply honored to receive this receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the ISHLT,” Dr. Valantine said. “My research has been deeply inspired by the pioneers of heart transplantation who dared to bring reality to what many thought was impossible. This award is a tribute to my many mentors, my family, and to the patients who have inspired me to continually put patients at the center of all I do. With a ‘patients first’ approach, we can accelerate wildly creative and precise solutions to the ongoing challenges of organ transplantation.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award was formally presented during a plenary session, Thursday, 28 April. ISHLT Board member Kiran Khush, MD, who works with Dr. Valantine at Stanford University, presented the award. The award presentation was followed by the Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient lecture. Dr. Valantine dedicated the lecture to her many trainees, who have contributed to a large body of research advancing the care of heart transplant patients, and to the next generation of physician scientists in this field, honoring the legacy of pioneers Drs. Norman Shumway and Margaret Billingham. Her talk explored the elements of her research that have improved diagnosis and early treatment of acute rejection and cardiac allograft vasculopathy, all leading to paradigm shifts in patient care.

Dr. Valantine received her MBBS from London University, completed her cardiology fellowship at Stanford, and earned her Doctor of Medicine from London University. She has worked in the field of transplantation for over 35 years, initially working as a laboratory researcher and mentee of Dr. Norman Shumway at Stanford University, where she would later join the faculty and rise to the rank of Professor of Medicine. She recently served as a tenured senior investigator at the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute intramural research program. Dr. Valantine has more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, multiple patents, and sustained NIH funding. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2020.

A longstanding member of the ISHLT, Dr. Valantine has presented her groundbreaking work many times over the past 30 years, including at ISHLT Annual Meeting plenary sessions, and in The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. She has served on ISHLT task forces, in writing groups for consensus statements and guidelines, and as a member of the Heart Failure/Transplant Council.

Dr. Valantine’s work has significantly improved the care of heart transplant recipients. She has generated novel insights into the mechanisms involved in the development of cardiac allograft vasculopathy, the impact of cytomegalovirus infection on allograft health and disease, and the development of non-invasive assays for monitoring graft health. These major contributions have led to enhanced understanding of the mechanisms of post-transplant complications and have informed new treatment modalities that have improved length and quality of life after heart transplantation. Dr. Valantine also led the first-ever study of donor-derived cell-free DNA (ddcfDNA) for diagnosis of acute rejection. More recently, she led the Genomic Research Alliance for Transplantation (GRAfT), which has validated this work in both heart and lung transplant patients in a multicenter prospective cohort study, which began in 2015.

Finally, Dr. Valantine has been a leader in scientific equity, diversity, and inclusion over the course of her career. At Stanford, she was Senior Associate Dean for Leadership and Diversity, and ran programs to increase diversity and inclusion, as well as leadership training workshops for female and minority faculty. She was appointed as Chief of Scientific Workforce Diversity for the Director at the National Institutes of Health, and in this capacity, established a series of innovative national programs and policies aimed at increasing the representation of women and minorities in science across the United States. She is now recognized as a leader, innovator, and driver of change in the movement to achieve equity, diversity, and inclusion in medicine.

The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation is a not-for-profit, multidisciplinary professional organization dedicated to improving the care of patients with advanced heart or lung disease through transplantation, mechanical support and innovative therapies. With more than 3,800 members in more than 45 countries, ISHLT is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the research, education and advocacy of end-stage heart and lung disease. ISHLT members represent more than 15 different professional disciplines. For more information, visit