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Main Profile

Full Name and Degrees: 
Victor J. Dzau, M.D.
Member Role: 
Study Chair
Institutional affiliation: 
National Academy of Medicine

Dr. Victor Dzau joins the Consortium from Duke University where he was Chancellor for Health Affairs and President and CEO of Duke University Health System. Dr. Dzau is the President of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), formerly the Institute of Medicine (IOM). In addition, he serves as Chair of the Health and Medicine Division Committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. He is Chancellor Emeritus and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University and the past President and CEO of the Duke University Health System. Previously, Dr. Dzau was the Hersey Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine and Chairman of Medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University.

Dr. Dzau has made a significant impact on medicine through his seminal research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics, his pioneering of the discipline of vascular medicine, and his leadership in health care innovation. His important work on the renin angiotensin system (RAS) paved the way for the contemporary understanding of RAS in cardiovascular disease and the development of RAS inhibitors as widely used, lifesaving drugs. Dr. Dzau also pioneered gene therapy for vascular disease, and his recent work on stem cell paracrine mechanisms and the use of microRNA in direct reprogramming provides novel insight into stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.

In his role as a leader in health care, Dr. Dzau has led efforts in health care innovation. His vision is for academic health sciences centers to lead the transformation of medicine through innovation, translation, and globalization. Leading this vision at Duke, he and his colleagues developed the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, the Duke Global Health Institute, the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, and the Duke Institute for Health Innovation. These initiatives create a seamless continuum from discovery and translational sciences to clinical care, and they promote transformative innovation in health.

As one of the world’s preeminent academic health leaders, Dr. Dzau advises governments, corporations, and universities worldwide. He has  been a member of the Council of the IOM and the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as Chair of the NIH Cardiovascular Disease Advisory Committee and the Association of Academic Health Centers. He served on the Governing Board of the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School and the Board of Health Governors of the World Economic Forum and chaired its Global Agenda Council on Personalized and Precision Medicine. He also served as the Senior Health Policy Advisor to Her Highness Sheikha Moza (Chair of the Qatar Foundation). Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Singapore Health System, the Expert Board of the Imperial College Health Partners, UK, and the International Advisory Board of the Biomedical Science Council of Singapore. In 2011, he led a partnership between Duke University, the World Economic Forum, and McKinsey, and he founded the International Partnership for Innovative Healthcare Delivery and currently chairs its Board of Directors. 
Among his honors and recognitions are the Gustav Nylin Medal from the Swedish Royal College of Medicine; the Max Delbruck Medal from Humboldt University, Charité, and the Max Planck Institute; the Commemorative Gold Medal from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich; the Inaugural Hatter Award from the Medical Research Council of South Africa; the Polzer Prize from the European Academy of Sciences and Arts; the Novartis Award for Hypertension Research; the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association (AHA); and the AHA Research Achievement Award for his contributions to cardiovascular biology and medicine. Recently, he was awarded the Public Service Medal by the President of Singapore. He has received six honorary doctorates.


Dr. Dzau is the recipient of many awards and honors including:

  • Gustav Nylin Medal, Swedish Royal College of Medicine (2001)
  • Kurt Polzer Prize in Biomedical Science, European Academy of Science and Arts (2003)
  • Novartis Award for Hypertension Research, Council for High Blood Pressure Research, American Heart Association (2003)
  • Distinguished Scientist - American Heart Association (2004)
  • Max Delbruck Medal, Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin (2004)
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (2005)
  • Robert H. Williams, MD, Award by the Association of Professors of Medicine (2006)

He has also served on numerous committees and boards including:

  • Executive Committee, the Academy at Harvard Medical School
  • Board of Directors, Stanford Health System
  • Chairman, Council on Artherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, American Heart Association
  • Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine, Toronto
  • Governor, Health Industry, World Economic Forum, Davos
  • Executive Committee and Council, Institute of Medicine of National Academy of Sciences

Previously, Dr. Dzau was chairman of the National Institutes of Health Cardiovascular Disease Advisory Committee. He also served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH. For two publications, he served as founding editor and editor in chief:

  • American Physiological Society's journal, Physiological Genomics
  • Journal of Vascular Medicine and Biology
research focus: 

Dr. Dzau's work focuses on cardiovascular translational research. His work on the renin angiotensin system (RAS) paved the way for the contemporary understanding of RAS in cardiovascular disease and the development of RAS inhibitors as therapeutics. Dr. Dzau pioneered gene therapy for vascular disease. He was the first to introduce DNA decoy molecules to block transcriptions as gene therapy in vivo. Recently, he has advanced the concept of paracrine mechanism of stem cell ation.

Recent publications: 
Mirotsou M, Zhang ZY, Deb A, Zhang L, Pachori A, Pratt RE, Dzau VJ. Secreted Frizzle Related Factor 2 is the Key Stem Cell Paracrine Factor Mediating Myocardial Survival and Repair. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2007; 104(5):1643-1648. Abstract Deb A, Davis BH, Guo J, Ni A, Huang J, Zhang Z, Mu H, and Dzau VJ. SFRP2 regulates cardiomyogenic differentiation by inhibiting a positive transcriptional auto-feedback loop of Wnt3a. Stem Cells 2008; 26(1):35-44. Abstract Gnecchi M, Zhang Z, Ni A, Dzau VJ. Paracrine mechanisms in adult stem cell signaling and therapy. Circ Res 2008; 103(11):1204-1219. Abstract Early beneficial effects of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing Akt on cardiac metabolism after myocardial infarction. Gnecchi M, He H, Melo LG, Noiseaux N, Morello F, de Boer RA, Zhang L, Pratt RE, Dzau VJ, Ingwall JS. Stem Cells 2009; 27(4):971-979. Abstract Matsushita K, Morello F, Wu Y, Zhang L, Iwanaga S, Pratt RE, Dzau VJ. Mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into renin producing juxtaglomerular (JG)-like cells under the control of LXR{alpha}. J Biol Chem 2010. Abstract Huang J, Zhang Z, Guo J, Aiguo Ni, Deb A, Zhang L, Mirotsou M, Pratt RE and Dzau VJ Genetic Modification of MSC Overexpressing CCR1 Increases Cell Viability, Migration, Engraftment and Capillary Density in the Injured Myocardium Circulation Research (in press) Abstract
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Profile Page Photo: 
Victor J. Dzau, M.D.

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