Dr. Ryan McEnaney Named 2016 Wylie Scholar

By: Lawerence Synett


Vascular Cures and the Society of Vascular Surgery has named Ryan McEnaney, M.D., assistant professor of vascular surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, as the 2016 Wylie Scholar.

The Wylie Scholar Program, now in its 20th year, awards three-year $150,000 research grants to young vascular surgeon-scientists to pursue innovative basic or clinical research projects. It’s one of the most important grants for early-stage scientists as it launches their ability to successfully compete for National Institutes of Health and other grants. Dr. McEnaney is the 19th Wylie Scholar and the fourth from UMPC.

“Winning the Wylie Scholar award is a huge step in launching the careers of young vascular surgeon scientists,” said Michel Makaroun, M.D., chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at Pitt. “Previous winners of this prestigious award are some of our best known and funded vascular researchers. The award provides financial support for initial early research, but more importantly intellectual support for the proposed work. The impact of the award is significant at all levels, providing the recipient with the time to establish himself as an independent researcher, and the division with more resources to support his research efforts.”

Dr. McEnaney’s research may ultimately lead to the development of medical therapies to unblock arteries for patients for whom surgical procedures are not an option. Diseases involving blocked arteries are one of the leading causes of death and disability in North America. Fortunately, arteries retain remarkable plasticity so smaller blood vessels can become larger collateral vessels to bypass blocked arteries. Dr. McEnaney aims to understand the biochemical mechanisms that signal a collateral artery to grow sufficiently to accommodate larger blood flow and substitute for the blocked artery.

“I am honored to receive this award – a major milestone in my career as a surgeon and scientist,” said Dr. McEnaney. “I am also humbled to now be listed among the distinguished group of prior recipients. It’s a tremendous accomplishment to receive the award, as well as a great responsibility to carry on its tradition of excellence. I thank the review committee for granting me this opportunity.”

The Wylie Scholar program was established in 1996 by Vascular Cures, a national nonprofit advancing innovation in health care and research for diseases outside the heart. The program is co-sponsored by the Society for Vascular Surgery.

For more information about the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, click here.