As a cardiologist, Judith Hochman, M.D., M.A., could see first-hand the havoc COVID-19 was wreaking among patients with cardiovascular disease. Very early on, as blood clotting emerged as a life-threatening effect of COVID-19, she also faced the lack of clear guidance on how to treat COVID-19 patients to prevent, and improve outcomes of, thrombosis, and related complications, from organ damage to heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism. So, she readily accepted when she was tapped to co-lead part of the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) initiative, known as the ACTIV-4 Antithrombotics trials, a set of clinical trials of anticoagulants and other antithrombotic therapies.
Hochman would be the first to concede she’s no slacker. She is the Harold Snyder Family Professor of Cardiology and the Senior Associate Dean of Clinical Sciences at New York University School of Medicine in New York City. And she is well-known for leading large and complex clinical trials – the SHOCK trial, the Occluded Artery Trial (OAT), and the ISCHEMIA trial. Where did all that scientific wit come from? Hochman attributes it, in part, to being the fourth in a line of very successful siblings. Determined to disprove the myth that fourth children are failures, “I became very tenacious and stuck with things no matter how hard they were,” she said. And it paid off: Hochman has become an internationally recognized clinical trialist and expert in ischemic heart disease.
She has served as study chair for NHLBI-funded international clinical trials testing the role of revascularization for patients with ischemic heart disease. Hochman also has served on the NHLBI Board of External Experts, the American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) Task Force on Practice Guidelines, the AHA Strategic Advisory Coordinating Committee, and the FDA Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee. She gives back, too, having served as a mentor for numerous trainees who have gone on to have successful independent careers. Hochman is the recipient of the 2008 AHA Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award, the 2014 Clinical Research Prize of the AHA, the 2016 Distinguished Scientist Award (Clinical Domain) of the ACC, and the 2018 American Heart Association James B. Herrick Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cardiology. She was selected to direct the AHA-funded Sarah Ross Soter Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Research at NYU Langone.