New Leadership Will Guide the Future of McAllister Heart Institute

Ronald Falk, MD, Chair of the Department of Medicine, has announced new leadership that will build on the successes of the McAllister Heart Institute (MHI).

New Leadership Will Guide the Future of McAllister Heart Institute click to enlarge Dr. Vicki Bautch and Dr. Rick Stouffer

Dr. Rick Stouffer and Dr. Victoria Bautch have been appointed Co-directors of McAllister Heart Institute and will guide the future of UNC’s cardiovascular research. Dr. Bautch is Beverly Long Chapin Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology and Dr. Rick Stouffer is Henry A. Foscue Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Cardiology.

“The team reflects Dr. Chip McAllister’s mission for cardiovascular research, linking basic science with translational science to allow us to more effectively advance biological discoveries into clinical care, to help patients now and in the future,” said Dr. Falk.

“We are fortunate to have Vicki and Rick assume these roles,” said Dr. McAllister. “They’re the perfect combination to carry out the vision and mission of the Institute, from bench to bedside. The clinician has the bedside view, the researcher has the tools to understand the mechanisms of molecular cardiology.”

Established in 2009 through a generous endowment from Hugh A. “Chip” McAllister, Jr., MD, (’66), MHI is already home to many talented investigators who study cardiovascular disease. Under the inspiring leadership of Nigel Mackman PhD, MHI has become a center of excellence in cardiovascular biology and thrombosis.

Dr. McAllister founded the Institute following a career dedicated to cardiovascular disease research and treatment. He is one of the world’s leading cardiovascular pathologists and has studied more diseased aortic valves than anyone in the world. He emphasized that treating advanced life-threatening heart disease was not enough. 

“We treat patients with intracoronary stents and artificial hearts, but we must better understand cardiovascular disease in order to prevent it. We have to look at the causes and collaborate with other specialties.”

The new team aims to strengthen the existing continuum of cardiovascular research by building bridges that invite subspecialty communities to work together to better understand cardiovascular disease. Dr. Bautch describes the MHI as the catalyst for understanding the mysteries of cardiovascular health and disease. Both she and Dr. Stouffer recognize opportunities to expand MHI to include new areas such as biomedical engineering, clinical research and public health. “Research advancements at MHI will improve clinical care through the development of new diagnostic tools and cardiovascular therapies,” said Dr. Stouffer.