Donald D. Heistad, MD

Professor of Internal Medicine - Cardiovascular Medicine
Professor of Pharmacology
Pomerantz Family Chair, Division of Cardiology

Contact Information

E311 GH
Iowa City, IA 52242

2256 CBRB
Iowa City, IA 52242


MD, University of Chicago
Internship, University of Chicago
Resident, Internal Medicine, University of Chicago
Internship, Environmental Medicine (Research), US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine

Licensure and Certifications

Subspecialty Board on Cardiovascular Disease - American Board of Internal Medicine
Certification - American Board of Internal Medicine
Medical License - Iowa Board of Medicine

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Translational Biomedicine, Medical Scientist Training Program

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Cardiovascular Research Center

Research Summary

Dr. Heistad's clinical interests include general cardiology. His research interests focus on gene transfer to blood vessels, mechanisms of intracranial hemorrhage, pathophysiology of aortic valvular stenosis; and vascular biology of atherosclerosis and hypertension. A major focus of these studies is on the role of oxidative stress and antioxidant mechanisms.


Heistad has experience with studies of vascular biology and pathophysiology with emphasis during the last ten years on aortic valvular stenosis. The lab has focused on oxidative stress and endothelial function in several disease models, including atherosclerosis, chronic hypertension, aging and intracranial hemorrhage. A research sabbatical, with Drs. Kristi Anseth and Leslie Leinwand in Boulder, led to a continuing collaboration. Heistad’s lab described the first experimental model that spontaneously develops severe calcific aortic stenosis and recently developed the first model that develops severe stenosis with minimal calcification. This new model is characterized by remodeling of fibrous tissue. Heistad has mentored 77 trainees, many of whom have become Professors and Department Heads, with scientific leadership.