History & Mission Statement
Maxwell M. Wintrobe, MD, former Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, initiated and developed the concept of a cardiovascular research institute at the University of Utah School of Medicine. In 1971 he recruited JA Abildskov, MD, a University of Utah graduate and distinguished cardiologist/researcher, as the first permanent Director of CVRTI. Under his able leadership the Institute became internationally recognized for its important contributions to the field of cardiac electrophysiology. Dr. Abildskov retired as director in 1994 and continues as an active CVRTI faculty member. Robert L. Lux, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine, served as Director from 1994 to 1999.Kenneth W. Spitzer, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine (Division of Cardiovascular Medicine) was appointed Director in 2003. Through the generous financial support of Nora Eccles Harrison, Richard A. Harrison, and the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation, the Institute expanded to its present 27,000 square feet. Steve Prescott, Guy Zimmerman and Tom McIntyre led an exceptionally productive research team at CVRTI from 1981 until 1999 that focused on cardiovascular biochemistry and endothelial biology.
Our mission is to perform cutting edge research and academic training in the field of cardiac function at the basic and translational levels. The knowledge we gain and communicate will improve our understanding of the mechanisms of cardiac disease and may contribute to improved diagnostic and treatment modalities. We are also committed to supporting the next generation of scientists by providing mentoring and research training to students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty that will enable them to pursue scientific careers in academia or industry in areas focused on understanding heart function and fighting heart disease.