Grumbach named Daum Professor

Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD, professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, has been appointed to the Kate Daum Professorship, which recognizes outstanding women scientists at the University of Iowa. This position is endowed by the Carver College of Medicine in honor of Kate Daum, PhD, who directed the UI Nutrition Department for nearly thirty years and was a champion of women in science her entire career.

Grumbach has been a member of the University of Iowa since 2006 after completing a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at Emory University and an internal medicine residency with the University of Illinois at Chicago before that. Soon after arriving at Iowa, Grumbach began to pursue leadership roles, first as Associate Director of the Cardiovascular Fellowship Program, then as Chief of Cardiology at the Iowa City VA Medical Center, where she still maintains an active clinical presence. In 2014, she was named Vice Chair for Research for the Department of Internal Medicine, a position she holds today. Over the last several years, she has worked with department chairs and interim chairs to advance the research mission, helping grow the overall portfolio to its current size of more than $80M in funding. Within her own lab, she has made strides in her research into calmodulin kinase II and its role in shaping blood vessels, its impact on blood pressure and restenosis after balloon angioplasty, and the potential target it represents in treating patients with hypertension and atherosclerosis. Last year, she was awarded a five-year, $2.5M R01 to study the impact of radiation therapy on small blood vessels in cancer survivors.

In his letter of nomination on behalf of Grumbach for the Daum Professorship, current Chair E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, praised both her significant research discoveries, her successful pursuit of funding for that work, and her service to the institution and the broader scientific community. “Her intellectual rigor, her capacity to excel in both achievement and service,” Abel wrote, “and her commitment to the University of Iowa make her an ideal candidate for this appointment.” Abel also described Grumbach’s continual pursuit of new training opportunities for herself, such as the completion of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program as well as her commitment to clearing the path for the current and next generation of scientists, noting her recent service as Chair of the Women’s Leadership Committee for the American Heart Association’s Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. “She represents greatness,” Abel concluded, “in each of the College’s three missions: dedication to her students and trainees, rigor and curiosity in her research, and commitment to improving the health and lives of patients.”