Thursday, June 17, 2010

University of Iowa Health Care leaders have announced the appointment of Curt Sigmund, Ph.D., as professor and head of the Department of Pharmacology in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Sigmund, who is currently a faculty member in the departments of internal medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics, will become head of pharmacology July 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents. He will retain joint appointments with both departments.

"I am very pleased that Dr. Sigmund has agreed to lead this department," said Paul Rothman, M.D., dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine. "Curt is a top-flight teacher and researcher whose work in hypertension is known internationally."

Rothman also thanked Donna Hammond, Ph.D., UI professor of pharmacology and anesthesia, for her service as interim head of pharmacology for the past four years.

"We are extremely grateful to Dr. Hammond for her expert leadership and deep commitment to excellence," Rothman said. "Under her guidance, the department has continued to grow and flourish: receiving a renewal for an important training grant; recruiting exceptional new faculty; and completing a successful fundraising campaign to endow the John Paul Long Chair of Pharmacology."

Sigmund's research focuses on the mechanisms of blood pressure regulation. He is currently the primary investigator on four grants from the National Institutes of Health. Over the years he has served on many grant review panels, and was recently named as chair of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Program Project Review Committee.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including one of the highest honors in hypertension research -- the Novartis Award for Hypertension Research from the American Heart Association's Council for High Blood Pressure Research. He is the author and co-author of many publications; serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals; and is editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology.

Sigmund received bachelor's and master's degrees in biology and a doctoral degree in molecular and cellular biology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

He joined the UI Carver College of Medicine faculty in 1991 as an assistant professor in the cardiovascular division of internal medicine and in molecular physiology and biophysics, also serving as the director of the Transgenic Animal Facility. In 1997 he was appointed associate professor, and became a full professor in 2001. He has also served, since 2000, as the director of the Center on Functional Genomics of Hypertension; and since 2002 as the director of the Roy J. Carver Program of Research Excellence in the Functional Genomics of Cardiovascular Disease. In 2008 he was selected to hold the Roy J. Carver Chair in Hypertension Research.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Care Media Relations, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009