Institut de France recognizes father of cardiovascular endocrinology, who changed heart research forever

Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2014

When medical visionary Dr. Adolfo de Bold demonstrated that the heart not only acts as a pump but also has an endocrine function, he turned the cardiovascular research world on its head. Three decades later, his transformative discovery has earned him the 2014 Grand Prix scientifique Lefoulon-Delalande from the Institut de France, considered the world's most prestigious prize for cardiovascular research.

Dr. de Bold's exceptional scientific contributions revolutionized the understanding of heart physiology and function. His discovery of the Atrial Natriuretic Factor (ANF), which demonstrated that the heart modulates blood pressure, blood volume and cardiovascular growth at multiple levels,paved the way for new research avenues in cardiovascular physiology and resulted in improved diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as hypertension and heart failure.More than 29,000 scientific papers published to date attest to the importance of his discovery.

“Throughout his outstanding career, Dr. de Bold has been an inspiration to countless researchers worldwide and this prestigious and esteemed recognition from the Institut de France reflects his outstanding and undeniable leadership,” says Dr. Thierry Mesana, President and CEO of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.“His pioneering work has contributed to Canada's excellence and exceptional reputation in cardiovascular medicine across the world”.

“The University and research community wholeheartedly congratulates Dr. de Bold for this well-deserved award. His unveiling of the full potential of ANF has led to the treatment and diagnosis of prevalent debilitating heart diseases and has helped generations of people live longer and healthier lives,” says Mona Nemer, Vice-President of Research at the University of Ottawa.

He is the first Canadian to receive the award, which is accompanied by an endowment worth 500,000 EUR (approximately C$759K).The award will be presented on June 4, 2014, under the presidency of the Chancellor of the Institut de France and the president of the French Academy of Sciences. The prize was created by the Fondation Lefoulon-Delalande and is awarded to an individual who has made a significant scientific contribution to physiology, biology or cardiovascular medicine.

A Canadian citizen of Argentinian descent, de Bold obtained his MSc and PhD degrees in experimental pathology from Queen's University. He moved to Ottawa in 1986, where he has served as vice-president of research at the Ottawa Hospital, Professor of Pathology and Physiology at the University of Ottawa and inaugural director of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute—one of the premier cardiovascular research institutes in the world. At the Heart Institute, Dr. de Bold also led its Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory. He is an Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine as well as Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University's Faculty of Medicine.

Adolfo de Bold's research has been recognized through numerous distinctions and awards, which also include his recent induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

About the University of Ottawa Heart Institute

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) is Canada's largest and foremost heart health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease. UOHI delivers high-tech care with a personal touch, shapes the way cardiovascular medicine is practised and revolutionizes cardiac treatment and understanding. It builds knowledge through research and translates discoveries into advanced care. UOHI serves the local, national and international community and is pioneering a new era in heart health.

About the University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is committed to research excellence and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, which attracts the best academic talent from across Canada and around the world. The University is an important stakeholder in the National Capital Region's economic development, with a total regional economic impact estimated at $4 billion annually.

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa is a national leader in medical education and health research, currently ranked second in Canada for research intensity in medicine and science since 2010 (Maclean's magazine). Since 2003, the Faculty has the third-highest growth rate for Canadian Institutes of Health Research funding for universities with medical schools.

Information for media

Kina Leclair
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa
Office: 613-562-5800 (2529)
Cell.: 613-762-2908

Vincent Lamontagne
Senior Manager, Public Affairs
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
613-899-6760 (cell)

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