CONTACT: STEVE MARAVETZ
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8033; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: Dec. 3, 2001
Abboud steps down from Internal Medicine post, Densen named interim head
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- François M. Abboud, M.D., who has served as head
of the University of Iowa department of internal medicine since 1976, has
announced he will step down from that position effective Jan. 1. Peter Densen,
M.D., has been named interim head of the department.
Densen currently serves as associate dean for student affairs and curriculum
in the UI College of Medicine, a post he has held since 1995. The interim
appointment also is effective Jan. 1.
The appointment was announced by Robert P. Kelch, M.D., dean of the College
of Medicine, vice president for statewide health services and director of
UI Health Care.
"The department of internal medicine is the largest department in UI
Health Care," Kelch said. "Because of its size and its complexity,
it is crucial that the head of the department be an experienced leader and
an outstanding administrator.
"Peter Densen oversaw the revision of our medical curriculum, which
is now considered a model program across the country. In addition, he has
been an integral part of the team responsible for planning our health campus
capital project. I am extremely pleased that Peter has enthusiastically accepted
these important new responsibilities."
Prior to becoming associate dean, Densen was associate chair for medical
student education programs for the department, and associate director of the
Division of Infectious Diseases. His research focuses on the molecular basis
for inherited deficiencies in proteins that help protect against infection.
He has also examined the role these proteins play in infections caused by
common pathogenic bacteria.
Densen received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, where
he also completed a medicine residency. He received fellowship training at
the University of Virginia prior to joining the faculty at the Boston University
School of Medicine. He joined the UI faculty in 1983.
Kelch had high praise for the legacy of Abboud, who is also Edith King Pearson
Professor of Cardiovascular Research at the UI.
"It is impossible to replace someone like Frank Abboud," Kelch
said. "Under his leadership, the UI department of internal medicine has
grown immensely in both research and patient care. During his time as head,
the department has attained international stature in a host of disciplines."
In 1988, Abboud was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of
the National Academy of Sciences. In 1997, he was elected to the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous honors and awards,
including the two highest awards presented by the American Heart Association
(AHA): the Research Achievement Award and the Gold Heart Award. In addition,
he has won the Dickinson W. Richards Memorial Award from the Council on Circulation
of the AHA; the Wiggers Award and Medal of the American Physiological Society
Cardiovascular Section; the CIBA Award and Medal for Hypertension Research
from the Council of High Blood Pressure Research of the AHA; the Merck Sharp
and Dohme International Award for Research in Hypertension; and the Robert
H. Williams Distinguished Chairmen of Medicine Award from the Association
of Professors of Medicine.
He has served as president of the American Heart Association, the Association
of American Physicians, the Central Society for Clinical Research, and the
American Federation for Clinical Research.
He is a Master of the American College of Physicians, holds an honorary
Doctor of Science degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and a Doctor
of Science (Honoris Causa) from the University of Lyon, France.
Abboud will continue to serve as director of the UI Cardiovascular Research
Center, in which capacity he has served since 1974. Abboud will provide assistance
to Kelch as vice president of statewide health services, especially in the
areas of strategic planning and external relations.
In September 2000, Abboud announced his decision to step down as head. A
search for a replacement recently concluded without a successor being hired.
Kelch indicated a new search committee will be formed and the search reopened
The department of internal medicine is the largest department in UI Health
Care with 222 faculty members, 72 residents and 88 fellows. In fiscal year
2001, researchers in the department received $42 million in external funding.
In the same period, the department provided some $60 million in patient care.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient
care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit
UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.