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Historical Highlights


Francois M. Abboud, 1974-2012

Mark E. Anderson, 2012-2014

Barry London, 2015-


Barry London, 2012-2015

Peter J. Gruber, 2014-2015

Deputy Director

Donald Heistad, 1990-2012

Associate Directors

Michael Brody, 1974-1990

Allyn L. Mark, 1974-2012

Mark E. Anderson, 2005-2012

Examples of Key Scientific Contributions

  • Foundational Discoveries about how the cardiovascular and nervous systems regulate each other
  • Regression of atherosclerosis and restoration of endothelial function by dietary cholesterol restriction
  • Identification of key molecules and pathways that transmit electrical and chemical signals in the heart and are involved in cardiovascular response to high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and ischemia
  • Linking molecular defects to human diseases, including arrhythmia, hypertension and diabetes
  • Advancing our understanding of calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII)
  • Identification of a new gene mutation that causes an inherited form of atrial fibrillation
  • Assessment of the effects of maternal diabetes on fetal and postnatal heart development—as well as risk of diabetes later in life for the childe
  • Illuminating the common molecular mechanisms (e.g., abnormal ion channel activity) underlying diseases that affect disparate systems and organs, such as the heart and sensory organs
  • Pioneering work outside cardiology, such as discovery of a gene that causes a form of muscular dystrophy
  • Linkage of autonomic nerves and the immune system is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and mortality

Editorships of Premier Scientific Journals Held by Center Members

Circulation Research, 1981-1986

Editor in Chief: Francois M. Abboud

Hypertension: 1989-1993

Editors in Chief: Allyn L. Mark, 1989-92 and Gerald F. DiBona, 1993

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, Vascular Biology, 1999-2007

Editor in Chief: Donald D. Heistad

Journal of Lipid Research, 1994-1998

Editor in Chief: Arthur Spector

Proceedings of the Association of American Physicians, 1995-2000

Editor: Francois M. Abboud

American Journal of Physiology (Regulatory), 2007-2013

Editor in Chief, Curt D. Sigmund

National Presidencies Held by Center Members

American Autonomic Society

Mark Chapleau, 2008-2010

American Clinical and Climatological Association

Francois M. Abboud, 2007

American Federation for Clinical Research

Francois M. Abboud, 1971

Gary Hunninghake, 1986

Gerald F. DiBona, 1978

Francis Miller, 2010

American Heart Association

Lewis E. January, 1966

John W. Eckstein, 1978

Francois M. Abboud, 1990

American Physiological Society

Gerald F. DiBona, 2000

American Society of Echocardiography

Richard E. Kerber, 1997-1999

American Society for Clinical Investigation

Michael Welsh, 2012

Association of American Physicians

Francois M. Abboud, 1990

Michael Welsh, 2002

Association of University Cardiologists

Allyn L. Mark, 1995

Donald D. Heistad, 2002

Central Society for Clinical Research

John W. Eckstein, 1974

Francois M. Abboud, 1986

James B. Martins, 2007

Federation of the American Society of Experimental Biology

William Talman, 2011

Society of General Physiologists

Kevin Campbell, 2004-2005

Major NIH-Funded Programs

Program Project Grants

Integrative Neurobiology of Cardiovascular Regulation

Francois M. Abboud, Program Director, 1971-2019

Fatty Acids, Lipoproteins and Lipid Oxidation

Arthur A. Spector, Program Director, 1992-2002

Genetic Signaling Mechanisms in the Central Regulation of Blood Pressure

Curt D. Sigmund, Program Director, 2007-2018

Cerebral Blood Vessels

Donald D. Heistad, Program Director, 1987-2008

Frank M. Faraci, Program Director, 2008-2013

Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Protection and Disease (Formerly Oxidative Mechanisms in Vascular Disease, Formerly Vascular Mechanisms of Atherogenesis)

Donald D. Heistad, Program Director, 2000-2016

Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease

Michael J. Welsh, Program Director, 1993-2009

Paul B. McCray, Jr., Program Director, 2009-2014

Airway Phyiology and Pathophysiology in a Porcine CF Model

Michael J. Welsh, Program Director, 2008-

Specialized Centers of Research (SCOR)

SCOR in Lipids, Atheroscleoris and Thrombosis

Arthur A. Spector, Program Director, 1971-1992

SCOR in Ischemic Heart Disease

Melvin L. Marcus, Program Director, 1984-1989

SCOR in Coronary and Vascular Diseases

David J. Skorton, Program Director, 1990-1995

SCOR in Occupational and Immunologic Lung Disease

Gary W. Hunninghake, Program Director, 1986-1997

SCOR in Acute Lung Injury

Gary W. Hunninghake, Program Director, 1998-2003

SCOR in Hypertension

Michael J. Brody, Program Director, 1989

Allyn L. Mark, Program Director, 1990-1995

SCOR in Molecular Genetics of Hypertension

Allyn L. Mark, Program Director, 1996-2000

Curt D. Sigmund, Program Director, 2001-2006

SCOR in Congenital Heart Disease

Ronald M. Lauer, Program Director, 1990-1998

SCOR in Pediatric Cardiovascular Disease

Ronald M. Lauer, Program Director, 1999-2003

O'Brien Kidney Disease Center

John B. Stokes, III, Program Director, 1997-2007

SCOR in Childhood Airway Diseases

David A. Schwartz, Program Director, 1998-1999

Gary W. Hunninghake, Program Director, 2000-2003

Training and Career Development Grants

Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Fellowship

Francois M. Abboud, Director, 1975-2016

Training Program in Hematology: Molecular and Cell Biology of Blood Cells

C. Patrick Burns, Director, 1978-2006

Steven R. Lentz, Director, 2006-2019

Research Training Program in Pediatric Cardiology

Ronald M. Lauer, Program Director, 1978-2003


Multidisciplinary Lung Research Career Development Program

Gary W. Hunninghake, Director, 1986-2008

Michael J. Welsh, 2008-2016

Training Grant in Kidney Disease, Hypertension, and Cell Biology

John B. Stokes, III, Director, 1997-2012

Christie Thomas, Director, 2012-2018

Community-Based Research

The Muscatine Heart Study

Ronald M. Lauer, Director, 1970-2005

Trudy Burns, Director, 2005-

Note: The Muscatine Heart Study gained international prominence as the pediatric counterpart of the renowned Framingham Heart Study of risk factors for disease in adults. Begun with and sustained in part through NIH funding, in 2009, the Muscatine Study joined with six other international childhood cohort studies to form the International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohort Consortium. Data from more than 41,000 childhood participants across the cohorts have been pooled to evaluate associations between childhood CV risk factors and adult subclinical disease.

Clinical Research Trials

Shared Research Facility

Francois M. Abboud, Director, 1986-1987

Lipid Research Clinic

Francois M. Abboud, Program Director, 1984-1990

Childhood Determinants of Adult Hypertension and Cardiovascular Risk

Ronald M. Lauer, Program Director, 1985-1991