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2008 Distinguished Scientists

Agre, Peter1-Head ShotUniversity Professor and Director
Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute
Baltimore, Md.

A native of Minnesota, Peter Agre studied chemistry at Augsburg College  (B.A., 1970) and medicine at Johns Hopkins (M.D., 1974). He completed his residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and an oncology fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Agre joined the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine faculty in 1984 and rose to the rank of professor of biological chemistry and professor of medicine. In 2005, Agre moved to the Duke University School of Medicine where he served as vice chancellor for science and technology and James B. Duke Professor of Cell Biology. Agre returned to Johns Hopkins in January 2008, where he is professor and director of the Malaria Research Institute at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In 2003, Agre shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering aquaporins, a family of water channel proteins found throughout nature and is responsible for numerous physiological processes in humans and is implicated in multiple clinical disorders. Agre has received other honors including 12 honorary doctorates, Commandership in the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit from King Harald V, and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America. Agre is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, for which he chaired and serves on the Committee on Human Rights. In February 2008, Agre became president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.


2007 Distinguished Scientists

AbboudUniversity of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Iowa City, Iowa

Dr. Abboud is internationally recognized for his discovery that the heart plays a major role as a neurosensory organ, a finding that has advanced scientific understanding about autonomic control of circulation. As a result, biomedical researchers know more about the interplay between the nervous system and the heart, and doctors can better treat heart disease, obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension and neurocardiogenic syncope.   Dr. Abboud is widely known for pioneering the use of multidisciplinary teams in cardiovascular research -- "a visionary paradigm shift" for the field.  Dr. Abboud is the Edith King Pearson Chair of Cardiovascular Research. He directs an interdisciplinary cardiovascular research training program and a Program Project Grant on Integrative Functions in Neurovascular Control, now in its 32nd year. He has been director of the Cardiovascular Research Center since 1974.   Dr. Abboud has served as president of several leading national organizations, including the American Heart Association, the Association of American Physicians, the Central Society for Clinical Research, and the American Federation for Clinical Research.  Dr. Abboud is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious CIBA Award for Hypertension Research conferred by the American Heart Association, and is former editor-in-chief of Circulation Research.


2006 Distinguished Scientists

Photo - Breslow, JanFrederick Henry Leonhardt Professor
Rockefeller University
New York, N.Y.

Jan L. Breslow heads the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism at The Rockefeller University, where he investigates genetic and environmental factors involved in atherosclerosis susceptibility.

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Breslow has identified many of the genes that control the transport of cholesterol and other fats through the bloodstream and has shown that some forms of these genes predispose individuals to atherosclerosis, while others protect against the disease. His creation of the apolipoprotein E knockout mouse provided the first good small animal model of atherosclerosis and has opened up many new experimental approaches for the study of this disease.

In recent years, Dr. Breslow has applied genomic techniques to mouse models to identify new sets of genes that act in the immune system and in the blood vessel wall to control atherosclerosis susceptibility, as well as genes that influence a person’s response to high cholesterol diets. 

Dr. Breslow received A.B. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.  He completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston, and was then a staff associate at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, before returning to Harvard and Children’s Hospital in 1973. 

He joined The Rockefeller University in 1984, where he holds the Frederick Henry Leonhardt Professorship.  A member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine, Dr. Breslow is a former president of the American Heart Association. 

His numerous honors include the American Academy of Pediatrics E. Mead Johnson Award, the Heinrich Wieland Prize in Lipid Research, the American Heart Association Basic Research Prize, the Pasarow Foundation Cardiovascular Research Award, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Cardiovascular Research, and the New York City Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Science and Technology.


2005 Distinguished Scientists

FeigenbaumDistinguished Professor of Medicine
Krannert Institute of Cardiology
Indianapolis, Ind.

Dr. Harvey Feigenbaum is widely recognized as one of the pioneers in echocardiography and has been a leading scientist in this field for decades. He is a visionary, one of the first to understand the potential of ultrasound in cardiovascular medicine, and was one of the first to appreciate the role that echocardiography could play in expanding our knowledge of the pathophyisiology of ischemic heart disease.

Dr. Feigenbaum was born and raised in East Chicago, Ind. He graduated with honors from Indiana University undergraduate and medical schools, and interned at Philadelphia General Hospital. He returned to IU for residency and fellowship. In 1962 became an instructor at IU Medical School and rose to distinguished professor in 1980. Investigational interests were initially in electrophysiology and then cardiac catheterization and hemodynamics. In 1963 he saw an advertisement claiming that ultrasound could measure cardiac volume. The ad was a sham, but diagnostic ultrasound was intriguing. Although there was great skepticism toward new cardiac tests following failures such as ballistocardiography and the fact that cardiac ultrasound had been around for about 10 years without much clinical enthusiasm, he used it to detect pericardial effusion. This application became the world’s first practical, popular use of echocardiography. His laboratory subsequently developed many more applications. Other echocardiography contributions included training many early pioneers and the first cardiac sonographers, organizing the first and numerous other courses, writing the first textbook with multiple editions and translations, founding the American Society of Echocardiography and later serving as its journal’s first editor.

Dr. Feigenbaum truly shaped the face of echocardiography, as we now know it, and is regarded internationally as the "Father of Echocardiography."


2004 Distinguished Scientists

Cowley_AllenProfessor and Chairman
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wis.

Dr. Cowley’s research has focused on the study of high blood pressure to create ways to bring about a meaningful convergence of the genetic and physiological responses to environmental perturbations.  Over the past decade this research has been directed toward elucidating genetic and physiological pathways that determine the function of the kidney, blood vessels and endocrine systems that influence blood pressure.  This work with his colleagues culminated in the first comprehensive systems biology map of cardiovascular function published in Science in 2001.  Dr. Cowley has served as the chairman of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research of the AHA and as the president of American Physiological Society.  He is the current president of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.  He is the chairman of the Department of Physiology and director of the NIH Specialized Center for Hypertension Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin.


2003 Distinguished Scientists

New York Medical College
Valhalla, N.Y.
Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences

Dr. Piero Anversa received his M.D. degree from the University of Parma, Italy in 1965.  He became a professor of pathology at the University of Parma and subsequently professor of medicine in microbiology, immunology and pathology at New York Medical College.  Dr. Anversa is also vice-chairman of the Department of Medicine and director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute.  He has published over 200 original articles and published 61 book chapters/review articles.


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