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Release: Nov. 8, 1999

Physician-researchers Adams, Heistad get Heart Association awards

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two University of Iowa Health Care physicians have received special recognition from the American Heart Association for their research on stroke and heart disease.

The honored physician-researchers are Harold P. Adams, M.D., professor of neurology, and Donald D. Heistad, M.D., UI Foundation Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology.

Heistad received his award at a ceremony held Nov. 8 during the association's 72nd Scientific Sessions in Atlanta, Ga. Adams did not attend the event.

"We are delighted the American Heart Association has chosen to recognize the significant contributions of our UI physician-researchers to their areas of expertise," said Robert P. Kelch, M.D., dean of the UI College of Medicine. "Harold Adams and Don Heistad have helped advance the understanding and treatment of stroke and cardiovascular disease, respectively."

Adams, who is director of the UI department of neurology's Division of Cerebrovascular Diseases, received the American Heart Association Scientific Councils Distinguished Achievement Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the association and professional contributions to their area of expertise. Adams is a past chairman of the association's Stroke Council and is current chairman of the American Stroke Association's Advisory Committee. The stroke association is part of the American Heart Association.

Adams has revised guidelines for developing medical and scientific statements about stroke and led the American Heart Association's effort to collaborate with the American Academy of Neurology on joint guidelines for acute stroke treatment. He has been a UI faculty member since 1976 and has been involved with the American Heart Association since 1978. In 1997 he received the association's Award of Meritorious Achievement.

Heistad, who is director of the UI department of internal medicine's Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, received the American Heart Association Council on Circulation George E. Brown Memorial Lectureship, which honors the memory of the former section chief in the Mayo

Clinic Division of Medicine. Brown helped create the association's Section for the Study of Peripheral Circulation (now the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences).

A UI faculty member since 1970, Heistad is deputy director of the UI Cardiovascular Research Center and Richard T. Zahn Professor of Cardiology. He is also a cardiologist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City.

Heistad conducts studies in cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology. His research team is known internationally for discovering processes that cause brain blood vessel damage in stroke and how atherosclerosis affects blood vessels.

As recipient of the George E. Brown lectureship, Heistad made a presentation on "Gene Transfer to Blood Vessels: What's the Buzz?" Researchers seek to use gene transfer to blood vessels to study vascular biology and eventually to treat diseases and clinical problems that are resistant to standard approaches. Heistad described several applications under investigation at the UI.

Heistad's previous American Heart Association awards include the Novartis (formerly CIBA) Award from the Council for High Blood Pressure Research and the Irving S. Wright Award of the Stroke Council.

(NOTE TO EDITORS: University of Iowa Health Care physician-researcher François Abboud, M.D., has also received a major award from the American Heart Association. A separate news release dated Nov. 8, 1999, details his award.)

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