Citation - 2011 Friesen Prize - Victor Dzau
Victor Dzau

Pioneering heart scientist and health advocate

Toronto – June 20, 2011 – Internationally renowned cardiovascular scientist, educator and health policy visionary Dr. Victor J. Dzau, Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University, was today named the 2011 winner of the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research.

Dr. Dzau was born in China, grew up in Hong Kong, and graduated from McGill University with a BSc and a MD. He is a physician and pioneering translational research scientist, and is widely recognized as one of the most influential medical leaders worldwide. Dr. Dzau is currently the James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University and the President and CEO of Duke University Health System. He was previously the Hersey Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine and Chairman of Medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Chairman of Department of Medicine at Stanford University.

Dr. Dzau’s groundbreaking research established the current understanding of the renin- angiotensin system, which is now known to underlie a wide range of heart and blood vessel diseases, from hypertension to heart failure. His work led directly to the development of drugs that inhibit this system, that now represent the foundation of modern medical therapy for many cardiac disorders. Dr. Dzau continues to lead an innovative and productive research lab, pioneering innovative stem cell and genetic treatments for heart and blood vessel diseases. He has received numerous honors for his contributions to research and medicine.

As a national and international leader in health care, Dr. Dzau focuses on academic health centers’ responsibility to reduce health disparities at home and globally. At Duke he established the Duke Global Health Institute to create an interdisciplinary collaboration among medicine, engineering, law, economics, business, policy, and environmental sciences together addressing health care problems in under-served and under-resourced countries.

Dr. Dzau has written extensively on cardiovascular medicine and the delivery of health care on local, national and international levels. He has published over 400 research papers and six books.

He serves on the Council of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, has chaired the NIH Cardiovascular Disease Advisory Committee as well as the Council of Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology of the American Heart Association, and has served on the Advisory Council to the Director of NIH. He is actively involved in select corporate and other boards and is regular participant in the annual World Economic Forum. He is a visionary for the importance of public-private partnerships to transform health and health care.

Dr. Dzau is proud of his Canadian roots and he has given his time generously to serve Canada, including as a member of the Advisory Board for the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Scientific Board of the University Health Network of Toronto, the International Review Board of the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund.

The Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research was established in 2005 by the Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (FCIHR) in recognition of Dr. Henry Friesen’s distinguished leadership, vision and innovative contributions to health and health research. The $35,000 Friesen Prize is awarded annually and will be presented at a public lecture in Ottawa on September 14, 2011.

For further information on Friends of CIHR and the Friesen International Prize, please visit:

For a full biographical sketch of Dr. Dzau, please see:

For more information, please contact: Cristina S. Castellvi, Friends of CIHR (416) 506-1597