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François M. Abboud, M.D.

Contact Information

Office: 616 MRC
Phone: 319-353-3057
Faculty Profile

Brief description of research:

Autonomic Regulation in Cardiovascular Diseases
Specific studies examine molecular mechanisms of sensory neuronal signals and ion channel activation in baroreceptors, chemoreceptors, and vagal afferents in response to hypoxia, acidosis, and dysautonomic states such as heart failure, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. More recent emphasis is on neuro-immune mechanisms, and on ion channel modulation of neuronal ischemic preconditioning and post-prandial satiety signaling. The work is done in isolated neurons, glomus cells, immune cells and systems in genetically modified mice. Integrated control of sympathetic nerve activity in patients with anxiety, sleep apnea and in patients with hypertension has been the focus of studies in humans.

3 most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  • Pereda, S.A., Eckstein, J.W., and Abboud, F.M.: Cardiovascular Responses to Insulin in the Absence of Hypoglycemia. Amer. J. Physiol., 202(2):249-252, 1962. (First demonstration of a direct CNS action of insulin causing an increase in sympathetic activity to the cardiovascular system in the absence of hypoglycemia.)
  • Abboud, F.M., and Huston, J.H.: Measurement of Arterial Aging in Hypertensive Patients. J. Clin. Invest., 40(10):1915-1921, 1961; and Measurement of Arterial Aging in Relation to Diabetes Mellitus. Circulation, 25:938-946, 1962. (First evidence in diabetic patients of accelerated loss of arterial distensibility.)
  • McDowell, T.S., Chapleau, M.W., Hajduczok, G., and Abboud, F.M.: Baroreflex Dysfunction in Diabetes Mellitus. I. Selective Impairment of Parasympathetic Control of Heart Rate. Am. J. Physiol. 266 (Heart Circ. Physiol. 35):H235-243,1994; and Baroreflex Dysfunction in Diabetes Mellitus. II. Site of Baroreflex Impairment in Diabetic Rabbits. Am. J. Physiol. 266(Heart Circ. Physiol. 35):H244-H249, 1994. (Definition of sites of neuronal dysfunction that impair baroreflex parasympathetic regulation in diabetes.)
  • Wang, R., Lu, Y., Cicha, M.Z., Benson, C.J., Chapleau, M.W., Abboud, F.M.: "Heterozygote Knockout of TMEM16B in Intestinal Vagal Afferents Causes Cholecystokinin Insensitivity and Obesity in Male But Not Female Mice. In Review by Neuron, 2018. (A novel ion channel that mediates CCK activation of intestinal afferents to induce satiety is dysfunctional on high fat diet and causes obesity.)


The deadly links between diabetes and vascular, renal and immunological diseases as well as autonomic and somatic neural damage, make it essential to mobilize experts from multiple disciplines to galvanize their creative efforts into an integrated force for discovery and management.
Hence a Diabetes Center.