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Regents approve request to re-name center in honor of founder

Abboud, Francois

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, today approved a request from the University of Iowa to re-name the UI Cardiovascular Research Center in honor of its founder, Francois Abboud, M.D.

“We are very grateful that the Board granted our request to now call this pioneering intercollegiate academic unit the Francois M. Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center in recognition of Dr. Abboud’s groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of serious diseases that affect millions of people around the globe,” says UI Provost Barry Butler.

“I am deeply humbled to be recognized in this manner,” Abboud says. “I firmly believe that this is an honor that I share with others who are too numerous to name, especially my mentors and colleagues with whom I was privileged to work throughout my entire career. My wife, Doris, and my family share an immense sense of gratitude for what Iowa has given us.”

Abboud came to the UI in 1960. He founded the Center in 1974, prior to becoming head of internal medicine at the University of Iowa in 1976, a position he held for 26 years before stepping down in January 2002. Since its opening, scientists who work in the Center have earned more than $400 million in research grants. The Center is now comprised of 174 researchers, having become a powerhouse in the study of heart disease and other related illnesses, such as diabetes and lung disorders.

“Dr. Abboud has literally spent decades addressing some of the biggest health challenges faced by human beings,” says Jean Robillard, M.D., UI vice president for medical affairs. “His impact is immense, and I can’t think of a more appropriate way to recognize his achievements than naming this Center in his honor.”

The work of Abboud and his colleagues in the Center expanded our understanding of how the heart works, and interacts with other bodily systems. Medications that treat patients diagnosed with heart failure and prolong their lives were developed as a direct result of Abboud’s and his team’s extensive research into the link between the heart and the central nervous system.

“Dr. Abboud continues to serve as an outstanding role model not only for our students, but also for his fellow researchers and faculty,” says Debra Schwinn, M.D., dean of the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. “It is clearly safe to say that the effects of his lifelong dedication will be seen for many years to come.”

Abboud also served as president of the American Heart Association and president of the Association of American Physicians before receiving its most prestigious academic recognition in internal medicine, The Kober Medal. Since stepping down as head of internal medicine, he has continued his research on a full-time basis.

“My distinguished predecessor is a true pioneer. We owe a great deal to Dr. Abboud not only for his contributions in the world of advanced cardiovascular research, but also for the foundational values of collaboration and partnership he’s established in the Cardiovascular Research Center,” says Mark E. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the Center.

More information is available online in the Center’s e-magazine, on its tumblr site, and by following Twitter at @iowacvc.

Story Source: UI Health Care Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

Media Contact: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,, Brenda K. Duello, CFRE, 319-350-3663,