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University of Iowa News

May 23, 2006

Abboud To Receive Distinguished Mentoring Award

Francois Abboud, M.D., the Edith King Pearson Chair of Cardiovascular Research, professor of internal medicine and physiology and biophysics, associate vice president for research, and director of the University of Iowa Cardiovascular Research Center, will receive the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine's annual Award for Distinguished Mentoring.

The award, now in its fifth year, honors a UI Carver College of Medicine faculty member who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to research mentoring and whose trainees have gone on to have notable careers of their own.

Abboud will receive his award in the fall at an event that also will feature the Distinguished Mentor's Lecture, a presentation given annually by an eminent scientist and mentor whose research and training embodies the ideals of the Award for Distinguished Mentoring and its recipient. This year's Distinguished Mentor's lecturer will be Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., the James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and professor of medicine and biochemistry at Duke University. Lefkowitz, an expert in receptor biology, also is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Distinguished Mentoring award and lecture are supported by a gift to the UI Foundation from UI graduates Nancy and Daryl Granner, M.D., of North Liberty, Iowa. Nancy and Daryl Granner received their bachelor's degrees at the UI in 1958, and Daryl also received a master's and medical degree from the UI in 1962. Daryl Granner served as director of the endocrinology division of the UI Department of Internal Medicine from 1975-1984 under Abboud, who was head of internal medicine from 1976 to 2002. Granner is now the Joe C. Davis Professor of Biomedical Science and director of the Vanderbilt University Diabetes Center in Nashville, Tenn. He also is a professor of molecular physiology and biophysics and of internal medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Abboud is renowned for his cardiovascular research, which has focused on identifying causes of, and treatments for, heart disease. In particular, his studies have explored the brain's effects on the cardiovascular system, especially in relation to heart attacks, high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, sleep apnea and obesity. Abboud has been principal investigator of a major National Institutes of Health (NIH) program since 1971. The research program is one of the longest-running program project grants under the same principal investigator funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the NIH, and it was the first major interdepartmental, intercollegiate research program in the UI Carver College of Medicine.

Abboud's many significant contributions to cardiovascular science have earned him numerous national and international honors, including the CIBA award and medal of the Council on High Blood Pressure Research of the American Heart Association. In addition to the recognition he has received for his accomplishments as a researcher and physician, Abboud also is highly regarded for his teaching and mentoring skills. During his career at Iowa, which spans more than four-and-a-half decades, Abboud has trained and mentored many physician scientists who have gone on to become notable cardiovascular researchers and physicians.

One measure of Abboud's long-standing commitment to training and mentoring is his leadership, since its inception, of a long-running and highly successful fellowship award from the NHLBI. The Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Fellowship, established in 1975, recently received its sixth competitive renewal of $4.7 million. This NIH grant supports 15 postdoctoral research trainees each year. Over the past 30 years, more than 300 cardiovascular scientists and cardiologists have received research training through this program.

Abboud earned a medical degree from Aims Chams University in Cairo, Egypt. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at Marquette University in Milwaukee, joined the UI in 1960 and has been on the faculty ever since, including serving as head of the Department of Internal Medicine from 1976 to 2002. He also has directed the UI Cardiovascular Research Center since 1975, during which time it has become one of the most prestigious centers for cardiovascular research and training.

Abboud has served as president of several major professional associations in his field, including the American Heart Association and the Association of American Physicians, and he is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, 319-335-9917