Featured: The Heart


Boston University School of Medicine is home to sixty years of breakthroughs in cardiac care.

From analyzing clinical care procedures to advanced research at the molecular and cellular levels, BUSM is a world leader in investigating the causes of cardiovascular disease and its diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The medical school has been responsible for some of the most important discoveries in the history of cardiovascular medicine.

In 1949, for example, Professor Robert W. Wilkins was the first researcher to identify a drug that lowered blood pressure—a discovery that would change forever the treatment of hypertension. The famed Framingham Heart Study, which the medical school has co-directed for forty years, identified the role of cholesterol and lifestyle factors in cardiac risk.

The Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute of Boston University Medical Center was established in 1974 to foster advances in research, treatment, and education in the broad area of heart and vascular disease.

The Institute provides a unified structure that combines and integrates the components of basic science, clinical investigation, medical education, patient care, health-policy planning, and community research.

Over the past half century, some of the Medical Center’s most distinguished research advances have been in the areas of hypertension and vascular disease. Hypertension is one of this country’s most pervasive and serious health problems, affecting one in four Americans, more than any other category of disease.

In the past three decades, the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute has been singled out by the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as a Specialized Center of Research in Hypertension, and as a Specialized Center of Research in Ischemic Heart Disease. The Specialized Center designation indicates that the Institute serves as a site for important medical research in the national interest. In addition, it was recently designated a Center for Cardiovascular Proteomics through support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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