Not only does Kentucky have the eighth highest rate of cardiovascular disease in the nation, but it also has a high prevalence of contributing health behaviors and conditions. Many of these factors, like obesity, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, are affected by diet. And while it may be common knowledge that some foods are more heart-healthy than others, a growing body of research is delving deep into the intricate interplay of nutrients and food compounds and the pathology of heart disease.

The Saha Foundation’s generous gift will support ongoing research in this area by establishing the Saha Foundation Fund for Study of the Association of Food and Cardiovascular Health. The endowment will fund research grants awarded by the College of Medicine’s Saha Cardiovascular Research Center in partnership with the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Established in 1999 by Sibu and Becky Saha, the Saha Foundation’s mission is to promote research and education in cardiovascular disease. Through their foundation, the Saha family has been an important philanthropic partner of the University of Kentucky. Their gifts have supported the activities of the Saha Cardiovascular Research Center and the establishment in 2022 of the Saha Aortic Center. Their generosity supports numerous annual awards, such as the Saha Award for Patient-Centered Care, to UK scientists, medical students, nurses and other health professionals. They have also provided scholarship support for students pursuing a nursing degree.

Dr. Sibu Saha joined the faculty of the UK College of Medicine in 2002 as a professor of surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He has demonstrated an enduring commitment to improving heart health for Kentuckians through an active surgery schedule and his involvement in rural outreach clinics across the state. A former president of Friends of the Arboretum, Becky Saha has been just as dedicated to improving the well-being of the community through philanthropic activities. The family’s passion for cardiovascular research and education extends to the couple’s daughter, Rani Saha, who became president of the foundation in 2020.

The Sahas are leading by example through their philanthropic support. Their generosity gives the University of Kentucky the power to be the University for Kentucky by directing resources toward the real needs of our fellow Kentuckians.