Professor Charles H. Hennekens is currently the first Sir Richard Doll Professor and Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. He is also Clinical Professor of Preventive Medicine at Nova Southeastern University, Voluntary Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College, and Visiting Fellow, Green College, University of Oxford.
Professor Hennekens was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Bayside, Queens at age 10. He attended the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania and then received his B.S. from Queens College, Phi Beta Kappa, his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College where he completed an internship and residency in internal medicine. He then served two years as Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Medical Epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control assigned to the Dade County Department of Public Health. He then received an MPH, MS and DrPH in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.
He joined the faculty of the Harvard Medical School as a researcher, teacher and clinician where he became the first John Snow Professor as well as the first Eugene Braunwald Professor of Medicine and the first Chief of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was Professor of Epidemiology at the Boston University as well as Harvard School of Public Health.
He spent one year as Visiting Epidemiologist at the University of Oxford working with Professor Sir Richard Doll and Professor Sir Richard Peto. Professor Sir Richard Doll was the Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford and the first to document the relationship of cigarette smoking with lung cancer. Professor Sir Richard Doll, who died in 2005, and Professor Sir Richard Peto, currently Professor of Medical Statistics at the University of Oxford have been mentors, colleagues and friends of Professor Hennekens for over 40 years.
Professor Hennekens was the founding Principal Investigator of the landmark Physician’s Health Study. He was the first to demonstrate that aspirin prevents a first myocardial infarction. In collaboration with his colleagues in Oxford, he was also the first to demonstrate that aspirin, when given during acute myocardial infarction decreases subsequent myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular death. He was also the first to demonstrate that aspirin when given to a wide variety of patients who have survived an occlusive vascular event, decreases myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular death.
He pioneered the collection of baseline blood samples from large cohort studies and randomized trials for testing epidemiologic and genetic hypotheses, including inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein for which he is listed as co-inventor on patents held by Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
He is the recipient of the Bruce Award from the American College of Physician’s for distinguished contributions to preventive medicine, the VERIS Award for outstanding contributions to antioxidant vitamin research, the Lillienfeld Award from the American College of Epidemiology for excellence in the field of epidemiology, the first Robert S. Gordon Lectureship from the National Institutes of Health for significant contributions to epidemiology and clinical trials, the Duncan Clark Award from the American Teachers of Preventive Medicine for excellence in teaching epidemiology and preventive medicine, the American College of Nutrition Award for outstanding contributions to nutrition research, the Lewis Atterbury Conner Lectureship Award from the American Heart Association, the Jan J. Kellermann Memorial Award from the International Society of Heart Failure, for distinguished contributions to cardiovascular disease prevention, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Lectureship Award for distinguished contributions to reducing premature deaths,, the Senior International Aspirin Award from Bayer AG, the First Public Health Physician of the Year Award from the Association of Public Health Physicians for distinguished contributions to teaching and research in public health, the Walter D. Kelly Award for distinguished contributions to mental health, the Presidential Citation from the Borough President of Brooklyn for distinguished contributions to society, a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Scholar and Athlete from Queens College, and honorary Fellowship in the American College of Cardiology for his distinguished contributions to cardiovascular medicine (FACC).
Since 2002 Professor Hennekens has been a Special Government Employee (SGE) serving as consultant to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He is currently a member of the Presidential Advisory Board for Queens College and Board of Directors of the Florida Institute for Health Innovation. He also serves as Chair or member of numerous Data and Safety Monitoring Boards of large-scale randomized trials conducted throughout the world.
From 1995-2005 he was the 3rd most widely cited medical researcher in the world and 5 of the top 20 were his former fellows and/or trainees.
In 2012 Professor Hennekens was ranked number 81 in the history of the world for having saved over 1 million lives by Science Heroes.