Gary Francis, MD, FACC, FAHA, FACP

Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division

Gary Francis

Contact Info

Fax 612-626-4411

Mailing Address:
UMN – Cardiovascular Division
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 508 Mayo
8508A (Campus Delivery Code)
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Kitty Tincher

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Administrative Fax Number

Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division

Executive Medical Director, Cardiovascular Service Line


Medical School, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE

Internal Medicine Residency, U.S. Navy

Cardiology Fellowship, Naval Regional Medical Center UCSD, San Diego, CA


I am pleased to highlight my 35-year career as a clinical investigator. Following my discharge from the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1977 at the Naval Regional Medical Center in San Diego, I joined Dr. Jay Cohn’s group of highly active cardiovascular investigators at the University of Minnesota. This move transformed my career. In 1979 I became essentially a full-time, laboratory-based clinical investigator, working closely with a team that performed physiology and pharmacology studies in patients and in animal models with heart failure. We had a research catheterization lab, a biochemistry core lab, a molecular biology lab and an active animal laboratory. In 1990 I took on more clinical duties as Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Hospitals, but also continued to work closely with Dr. Cohn and the NHLBI in the design and development of a number of large clinical trials. Our over-arching hypothesis was that heart failure had an important neurohormonal component, and that drugs designed to block angiotensin II and norepinephrine would reverse some of the left ventricular structural abnormalities and thereby improve cardiac function and patient survival. We worked in small teams with several academic health centers, and worked closely with the Clinical Trials Branch at the NHLBI (Prof. Salem Yusuf). I was also fortunate to work with many excellent trainees, research fellows, staff and faculty and witnessed first-hand a transformation in the model of heart failure treatment. In 1997 I was recruited to the Cleveland Clinic where I continued to teach, care for patients and do research. I became Head of Clinical Cardiology and co-authored about 70 papers while there, mostly with a young trainee Dr. H. Wilson Tang. I served as President of the Heart Failure Society of America from 2004-2006. In 2008 I moved back to the University of Minnesota and joined the Cardiovascular Division. In June of 2014, I was given the Andersen Chair and made Interim Chief of the Cardiovascular Division and the Executive Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Service Line for our healthcare system. I served as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Cardiac Failure from 2010 to 2014. In 2014, I received a Life Time Achievement Award from the Heart Failure Society of America. I also served on the Editorial Boards of virtually all of the major cardiology journals including Circulation and JACC, and have served on 32 DSMBs of major clinical trials. My primary responsibilities are now administration and research.


Treatment of patients with cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

Awards & Recognition

  • Lifetime Achievement Award-HFSA
  • Distinguished Teacher Award-ACC
  • President of the Heart Failure Society of America
  • Editor and Chief of the Journal of Cardiac Failure (2010-2014)

Professional Associations

  • President, Heart Failure Society of America (2004-2006)
  • Interim Chief, Cardiovascular Division, University of Minnesota (2014)
  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Cardiac Failure
  • Executive Medical Director, Cardiovascular Service Line (2014)


Research Summary/Interests

Previous NIH Funding:

  • NIH – I – MOI – RR018390 – 01, General Clinical Research Center (Assist. Medical Director) – Cleveland Clinic
  • NIH – SCCOR 1 – P50 – HL077107-01 Molecular Determinants of Coronary Artery Disease – Cleveland Clinic


Recent Publications

  • Kiernan MS, Wentworth D, Francis GS, Martinez FA, Dickstein K, Komajda M, Zannd F, Neaton JD, Konstam MA. Predicting adverse events during angiotensin blocker treatment in heart failure: results from the HEAAL trial. Eur J Heart Failure 2012; 14: 1401-1409.
  • Lu F, Eckman PM, Liao KK, Apostolidau I, John R, Chen T, Das GS, Francis GS, Benditt DG, Garry DJ. Catheter ablation of hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia with mechanical circulatory support. International Journal of Cardiology 2013; 168(4):3859-3865.
  • Sarraf M, Francis GS. It Is All About the Heart Rate. Or Is It? J Am Coll Cardiology 2012; 59: 1946-47
  • Francis GS. On Writing with Young People. J Cardiac Failure 2013;19:71-72.
  • Alpert JS, Francis GS. Practicing “check the box” medicine. Am J Med 2013; 126(12):1027-1028.
  • Hall JL, O’Connell T, Francis GS. Promising small molecule for heart failure targeting adrenal catecholamine release and B-adrenergic receptor signaling in the heart. J Am Coll Cardiol 2014; 63:2558-2559.
  • Peura JL, Colvin-Adams M, Francis GS, Grady K, Hoffman T, Jessup M, John R, Kiernan M, Mitchell J, O’Connell JB, Pagani F, Petty M, Ravichandran PS, Rogers J, Semigran M, Toole JM. Recommendations for the Use of Mechanical Circulatory Support: Device Strategies and Patient Selection. A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2012; 126: 2648-2667.


Academic Interests and Focus

Role of hormones in heart failure

Teaching Areas

Students, residents, fellows, faculty


Second year CV course



  • Congestive heart failure


Transplant Center

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Medicine-Internal Medicine
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplantation

Clinical Interests

Cardiomyopathy and heart failure

Hospital Privileges

University of Minnesota Medical Center