Farid Moussavi-Harami, MD
Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiology
John and Cookie Laughlin Endowed Professorship in Cardiology
University of Washington
What were some of the projects you worked on while you were at Iowa and how did this work prepare you for your career?
Early exposure to outstanding research at the University of Iowa was critical in pursuing a career as a physician scientist. As an undergraduate, I was fortunate to work in the laboratory of long-time Department of Medicine faculty member Dr. Beverly Davidson (now Chief Scientific Strategy Officer at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia), where I learned some of the techniques that I still use in my own laboratory. During residency, I had my first exposure to basic science in cardiovascular medicine when I spent time in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Anderson (now William Osler Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University), who to this day is providing me career guidance and mentorship.
What is a “fun fact” (however you want to interpret this) about you that folks here might not know?
Despite being a huge Hawkeye Football fan, I have only been to Kinnick Stadium to watch games about ten times. However, the Hawkeyes have won every single game I have attended. This includes Coach Ferentz’s first ever Big Ten win against Michigan State in 2000, overtime win against Michigan state in 2007, and win over #3-ranked Penn State in 2008 (kick made by Daniel Murray, son of Mike Murray, who was the 6RC pharmacist at the time).
What was most valuable to you during your years at the University of Iowa?
I was fortunate to spend twelve years in Iowa City. The University of Iowa provided me invaluable personal and professional growth. I met my wife, Dr. Parisa Taravati, during our undergraduate studies in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Iowa. One important lesson that I learned at the University of Iowa was that an M.D. could run a very successful basic science research laboratory. There are many examples at the University of Iowa, but the person who was always my role model since meeting him as undergraduate student is Dr. Michael Welsh. Despite not being his trainee and not even working in the same field, I always felt a connection with him since he did most of his training at the University of Iowa.
What is one memory that stands out from your time at Iowa?
This is a very tough question to answer, as I have many memories from my time at the University of Iowa. As someone who currently lives in the birthplace of Starbucks in Seattle, I have to say that I still miss Java House coffee!
What is something you learned at Iowa that you still use in your current role?
Early in my training, I was exposed to the importance of teamwork in taking care of complex patients. I distinctly remember working closely with nurses, pharmacists, medical students, fellows and attending physicians during my CVICU rotation. To this day, when on service, I promote working closely with all members of my team and valuing everyone’s opinion. I think this is critical in providing high quality care.
How do you maintain a life-work balance in your current role?
I love spending time with my family, and in particular, watching Iowa football and basketball games with my two sons. They are often seen around Seattle wearing their Hawkeye gear. They really enjoyed visiting Iowa City last year, and thanks to Dr. [Manish] Suneja, they were able to look into the newly renovated Kinnick Stadium from the Children’s Hospital.