Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

About Dr. Francois Abboud

In December 2013, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, named the University of Iowa's Cardiovascular Research Center (CRC) in honor of its founder, François M. Abboud, MD, MACP, noting that:

"Dr. Abboud has devoted five decades to developing a world-class center of excellence in cardiovascular research and continues to this day his work at the University of Iowa as an internationally recognized physician-scientist. His career at Iowa has been characterized by an unparalleled commitment to excellence and leadership that led him through a steady progression of key leadership positions in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine."

Dr. Abboud's professional biography is an American success story—one that began in the 1950s in a third world medical school in Cairo, Egypt. With serendipity and good advice, he moved in 1955 to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to serve as Assistant Resident in Internal Medicine at Milwaukee County Hospital. In 1960, he was appointed to an Advanced Research Fellowship in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa. After progressing through academic levels and professional positions, he rose rapidly to key leadership positions:

1970-1976: Director of the Cardiovascular Division and Chief of Cardiology

1974-2012: Founder and Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center

1976: Appointment to Professor and Head (Chairman and DEO) of the UI Department of Internal Medicine, a position he held for the longest tenure of 26 years while leading the department to elite national status.In tribute, the university created the Francois M. Abboud Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine to be held by future Department Heads. 

His research work has led to better understanding and management of cardiovascular disease and stroke, pioneered the use of multidisciplinary teams throughout biomedical science, and significantly advanced the University of Iowa's national and international reputation for excellence in patient care, research, and education. Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute since 1971, Dr. Abboud's program project grant is the longest continuously funded grant under the direction of the same principal investigator for over 45 years.

As one of the university's premier "scientific ambassadors," Dr. Abboud's contributions extend far beyond the university and the state of Iowa. He has served as president of the Association of American Physicians, American Clinical and Climatological Association, American Federation for Clinical Research, Central Society for Clinical Research, and American Heart Association, which named him a Distinguished Scientist for 2007. In 2009, he was awarded the foremost award in academic internal medicine, the George M. Kober Medal from the Association of American Physicians. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

During the dedication and 40th anniversary symposium of the center, Jean Robillard, MD, UI Vice President for Medical Affairs noted, "Dr. Abboud's contributions extend far beyond the center, the university, and even the great state of Iowa...Thanks to the accomplishments realized through [his] pioneering spirit, [the University of Iowa] is now well positioned to continue and lead cardiovascular research in the country.