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CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
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Release: Oct. 10, 2002

Heistad to receive award for cardiovascular research

Donald Heistad, M.D., the Zahn Professor of Cardiology and director of the cardiovascular diseases division in the University of Iowa department of internal medicine, will receive the Scientific Council's Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Heart Association in November.

The award is presented to Scientific Council members who have made significant contributions in cardiovascular medicine and to the work of the American Heart Association. The award will be presented during the Scientific Council’s annual business meeting in Chicago, part of the 75th Scientific Sessions.

"I'm honored to receive this award because the American Heart Association is a great organization which is very important in the lives of many of us," Heistad said.

Although the award was given to Heistad, he noted that the award recognizes the work of a group of UI investigators, including Frank Faraci, Ph.D., professor of internal medicine, Yi Chu, Ph.D., research scientist in internal medicine and Steve Lentz, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in internal medicine and a researcher and staff physician at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC).

Heistad is a UI Foundation Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine and also holds an academic appointment in pharmacology. He is a researcher and staff physician at the Iowa City VAMC and editor-in-chief of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Heistad is known for his research in cerebral circulation, gene therapy to prevent blood vessel damage, and the effects of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), hypertension and diabetes on blood vessels.

A 1963 graduate of the University of Chicago, Heistad remained at the university to complete his internship and residency. He first came to the UI in 1966 as a cardiovascular trainee and went on to work as a research internist with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. Heistad joined the UI faculty in 1970.

Heistad’s recent awards include the 1999 Carl J. Wiggers Award from the American Physiological Society, the 2001 Eugene M. Landis Award from the Microcirculatory Society, and the 2001 Research Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.

The 13 American Heart Association Scientific Councils include more than 31,000 volunteer professionals who work to battle heart disease through research and education.

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.