Every member of a department with as long and storied a history as ours will appreciate the ways in which their actions could have a profound and lasting impact on the institution they serve. Few of our members have had more of an impact than Dr. François Abboud. The recent news of the renewal of the T32 training grant in Cardiovascular Research for its 42nd year is one such notable example. For more than four decades, the Cardiovascular Institutional Research Fellowship has provided resources for guidance and training in cardiovascular care and research. It would be difficult to count the scores of physicians who have benefited from this fellowship, harder still to count the hundreds of physicians those fellows themselves have gone on to train, and impossible to measure the improved lives of all their patients. We are grateful for the vision and leadership that Dr. Abboud provided in the initial pursuit and in the maintenance of this fellowship, as well as the many ways he has continuously worked to better this department and the field of medicine.
Dr. Ang Guo, Research Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, was awarded a three-year, $231,000 Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association. These funds will support Dr. Guo’s research into posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of structural proteins involved in cardiomyocyte function. These PTMs remodel the machinery of the heart under a variety of settings from basal conditions to cardiac stress. Dr. Guo is looking for ways to augment those beneficial PTMs that will aid cardiomyocytes in resisting stress, such as during heart failure. In collaboration with his division colleagues, Dr. Long-Sheng Song and Dr. Chad Grueter, Dr. Guo aims to develop new therapeutic strategies by searching for novel insights into the mechanisms of cardiac responses to pathological stresses. Congratulations to Dr. Guo on this prestigious early career award from the AHA.
Dr. Brad Dixon, Associate Professor of Nephrology, has recently accepted the position as Deputy Chief of Medicine at the VA. For many years, the division, department, and area providers have benefited greatly from his dedication to coordinating Renal Grand Rounds, the annual J. B. Stokes Iowa Kidney Day, and other CME activities as well as his commitment to providing outstanding clinical care. I am appreciative of the way in which other members of the Nephrology Division have stepped in to carry on the strong tradition Dr. Dixon has established at UIHC. The Department will continue to benefit from his proximity as he works with Dr. Peter Kaboli to maintain the strong collaborations between the VA and the University. As he put it to me, “It is not farewell, but see you tomorrow in a little different light.” Best wishes to Brad as he embarks on this new role.
Finally, I am always impressed by the diversity of expertise that exists within our Department. One area in which we have distinguished ourselves in our state and region is in the realm of travel medicine. For nearly 20 years, a handful of physicians, mostly from the Division of Infectious Diseases, have provided counseling and preparation for international travelers. Currently led by Dr. Judy Streit, the clinic’s providers maintain an almost-daily interaction with a variety of resources to stay current on existing and emerging infections around the world in order to better prepare their clinic’s intrepid visitors. Please read this article for a closer look at the work Dr. Streit and her colleagues perform in the Travel Medicine Clinic.