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Tulane Cardiovascular Researcher Named School of Medicine Dean

Delafontaine is accomplished physician-scientist, educator, administrator


University of Missouri Interim Provost Ken Dean and Executive Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs Harold Williamson Jr. have announced that Patrice (Patrick) Delafontaine, MD, chief of cardiology at Tulane University in New Orleans, has been named the Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean of the MU School of Medicine, effective Dec. 1, 2014.

“A practicing interventional cardiologist, Dr. Delafontaine has an extensive record training and mentoring medical students, residents and junior faculty,” Williamson said. “He is superbly credentialed to lead the MU School of Medicine.”

At Tulane, Delafontaine has served as the Sidney and Marilyn Lassen Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, chief of cardiology, director of the Tulane University Heart and Vascular Institute at Tulane University School of Medicine, and medical director of cardiovascular services at Tulane University Hospital and Clinic. Delafontaine is board-certified in cardiovascular diseases.

“I’m delighted and honored to have been chosen to lead the School of Medicine at MU as dean,” Delafontaine said. “The University of Missouri has a sterling reputation as evidenced by its membership in the Association of American Universities. The opportunity to seamlessly integrate the education, research and clinical missions of the School of Medicine and to grow a strong, nationally recognized academic medical center is very exciting. The concentration of multiple schools and colleges on one campus facilitates interdisciplinary research and educational programs and is a major strength of the University of Missouri.”

A member of the Tulane University faculty from 2003 to 2014, Delafontaine also has served in clinical leadership positions at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the University of Geneva and Emory University in Atlanta. In 2001, he was elected by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America®. Delafontaine’s research on cardiovascular health has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 18 years.

“Dr. Delafontaine has extensive research experience and is well known for his expertise in cardiovascular medicine,” Dean said. “We’re excited to have him here as our School of Medicine is poised to become a leader in many areas of medical research, including cardiovascular research, obesity research, molecular biology and immunology. As we move forward in our strategic plan, with a goal to improve our status in the AAU, Dr. Delafontaine’s experience in leading successful research teams is critical.”

Delafontaine has experience with basic science research, animal studies and clinical and translational research. In 2012, Delafontaine, along with researchers at Louisiana State University and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, received a five-year $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to create a collaborative research initiative dedicated to biomedical research, including cardiovascular disease.

Delafontaine was the first scientist to establish the critical link between the human hormone system that regulates blood pressure, known as the renin-angiotensin system, and a protein that is essential for childhood growth. His studies on this link have provided major new insights into muscle-wasting diseases. He has authored more than 115 articles about his research.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Delafontaine received his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland. He completed a research and clinical fellowship in medicine (cardiology) at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Click here to download a high resolution portrait of Delafontaine.

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