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Release: Sept. 18, 2001

Heistad receives prestigious research award from the American Heart Association

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Donald Heistad, M.D., the Zahn Professor of Cardiology and director of the Cardiovascular Disease Division in the University of Iowa department of internal medicine, has received the prestigious Research Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. This award has been given annually since 1953 in recognition of distinguished scientific achievement in the field of cardiovascular research.

Heistad has received international recognition for his studies of cerebral circulation, vascular biology of atherosclerosis and gene transfer to blood vessels. His studies of gene therapy have been described as a "new era in cardiovascular gene therapy."

Heistad, who also holds an academic appointment in the UI department of pharmacology, received his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1963, where he also completed his internship and residency. He came to the UI in 1966 as a cardiovascular trainee and left to become a research internist with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. Heistad returned to the UI and became a faculty member in 1970. Heistad currently serves as deputy director of the Cardiovascular Research Center and is a UI Foundation Distinguished Professor.

"I was thrilled to receive this award because it is great recognition for the university and an opportunity for me to thank a lot of people," Heistad said. "It also gives me a chance to reflect on a most rewarding career at the University of Iowa."

The award will be presented in November at the opening meeting of Scientific Sessions 2001 in Anaheim, Calif. David Faxon, M.D., President of the American Heart Association, will present the award.

Heistad is not the only UI faculty member to receive the Research Achievement Award. In 1999, Francois M. Abboud, M.D., the Edith King Pearson Professor and Head of the UI department of internal medicine and director of the UI Cardiovascular Research Center, received the award.

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