Ronald G. Victor, MD, Collects PRISM Award

Ronald G. Victor, MD, associate director of the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, is the winner of the 2018 Prize for Research in Scientific Medicine (PRISM). The annual award recognizes a Cedars-Sinai faculty member who has made a significant discovery or provided a critical insight within the last five years.

Ronald G. Victor, MD

Victor, a professor of Medicine, received the honor for his work on a pioneering study on the management of hypertension. In the study, African-American men, who are disproportionately impacted by the treatable condition, received pharmacist-directed drug therapy to lower their blood pressure while visiting their barbers.

"This award is especially meaningful to me because it took me more than 20 years of research to create an effective barbershop model of hypertension care for black men," Victor said.

The trial, which was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and received national press attention, included 319 men recruited from barbershops around the Los Angeles area. Two-thirds of participants who worked alongside a pharmacist in their barbershop lowered their blood pressure to new U.S. blood pressure targets.

"Having completed a markedly positive randomized controlled trial involving 52 Los Angeles neighborhood barbershops, we now have the scientific evidence we need to pursue research on program implementation and to transform hypertension care at the local, state and national levels," Victor continued.

The award, which is based on faculty nominations and a decision by a panel of three judges, was presented by Eduardo Marban, MD, PhD, director of the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, during at the June 13 commencement of the Graduate Programs in Biomedical and Translational Sciences.

"He has done something that very few people have actually tried to do," said Marban. "What Ron did as a basis for the nomination for the PRISM prize was something dazzlingly audacious."

The PRISM award, which includes a monetary prize and a commemorative medal, was first presented in 2015. Previous recipients are Ueli Rutishauser, PhD; Robert H. Baloh, MD, PhD; and Stanley C. Jordan, MD.