National Marfan Foundation Establishes Alan Braverman Fund

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New Fund Honors the Director of Marfan Clinic at Washington University School of Medicine

Alan Braverman, MD

We are proud to honor Dr. Braverman for all his work and dedication to the Foundation to improve the lives of all those who are affected by Marfan syndrome.

The National Marfan Foundation (NMF) recently announced the establishment of the Alan Braverman Fund in honor of Alan Braverman, MD, Alumni Endowed Professor in Cardiovascular Disease and Director of the Marfan Syndrome Clinic at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Chair of the NMF’s Professional Advisory Board.

     The National Marfan Foundation, which provides education, support and research on Marfan syndrome, a potentially fatal connective tissue disorder, established the Alan Braverman Fund to honor Dr. Braverman for his commitment to all aspects of the Foundation’s mission. Not only is he dedicated on a professional level, but he is personally involved as he lost his father to Marfan syndrome and has a brother and nephew who are affective by the condition.

     A nationally known authority on genetically triggered aortic diseases, such as Marfan syndrome, Dr. Braverman heads one of the top Marfan syndrome clinics in the country, and has conducted extensive research on Marfan syndrome, which has been widely published. For the past three years, he has served as the chair of the Foundation’s Professional Advisory Board. In 2008, he and his wife, Rebecca, established Heartworks St. Louis, an annual gala benefit that has raised substantial funds to support the Foundation’s programs of education, research and patient support.

     "We are proud to honor Dr. Braverman for all his work and dedication to the Foundation to improve the lives of all those who are affected by Marfan syndrome,” said Carolyn Levering, NMF President and CEO. “Alan is a wonderful ambassador for the Marfan Foundation, and we are delighted to honor him with the establishment of the Alan Braverman Fund to advance the life-saving mission of the Marfan Foundation.”

     Donations to the Alan Braverman Fund can be made online or mailed to the Foundation (22 Manhasset Avenue, Port Washington, NY 11050).

Marfan Syndrome

     Approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. have Marfan syndrome or a related connective tissue disorder. Experts say that about half of those affected do not know they have the potentially life-threatening condition and, without a diagnosis and treatment, are at risk of a sudden early death.

     Marfan syndrome is a connective tissue disorder that affects the heart, blood vessels, eyes, bones, joints and lungs. It is often, but not always, characterized by a tall stature and disproportionately long legs and arms. Other skeletal manifestations are curvature of the spine, a protruding or indented chest and loose joints. The most serious problem associated with Marfan syndrome is its effect on the aorta, the main artery carrying blood away from the heart.
The aorta is prone to progressive enlargement, which can lead to tears in the aortic wall that require surgery. If aortic enlargement and tears are left undetected, the aorta may rupture, leading to sudden death.

     The life expectancy for people with Marfan syndrome who are diagnosed and treated is now in the 70’s due to advances in cardiovascular surgery, improvements in medical therapy and enhance awareness and diagnosis. Without a proper diagnosis and medical management, patients with Marfan syndrome are at risk for aortic dissection and sudden death.

The National Marfan Foundation

     The National Marfan Foundation is a non-profit voluntary health organization dedicated to saving lives and improving the quality of life of individuals and families affected by Marfan syndrome and related connective disorders by:

  •     Educating affected individuals, family members and the health care community.
  •     Advocating for and funding clinical and molecular research into the early detection and

        treatment of these conditions.

  •     Providing a network of local and special-interest support groups to help affected people and

        their families share experiences.

     For more information on Marfan syndrome, contact the NMF at 800-8-MARFAN or log on to

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Eileen Masciale
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