Q&A with Medicine's Featured Faculty

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Q&A with Medicine's Featured Faculty

Samuel C. Dudley, Jr., MD, PhD (April 2017)

Samuel C. Dudley, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. has accepted the position of Director of the Cardiovascular Division in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Lillehei Heart Institute at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Dudley received a B.A. degree from the University of Virginia and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Medical College of Virginia. He completed an internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at the University of Chicago. He served on the faculty at Emory University and the University of Illinois at Chicago before assuming his current position as the Ruth and Paul Levinger Professor in Cardiology, Director of the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute, and Director of the Division of Cardiology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Dudley starts on May 31, 2017.

LR: WHAT DREW YOU TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA?

SD: What drew me to the University of Minnesota is that I want to be part of a nationally recognized, impactful program, and this is my best opportunity to do so. I believe all the pieces are here to go from great to outstanding. I am impressed with the strong science and clinical programs here – within the university and its affiliates, the hospital, and the community cardiology group at Southdale.

LR: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE TWIN CITIES SO FAR?

SD: I spent 13 years in Chicago, first as a fellow at the University of Chicago, and then as Chief of Cardiology for five years. My partner, Ann Clark, is from Chicago, so we know something about the Midwest and Midwestern winters, but we are new to the Twin Cities. We are "arts" people and have heard great things about the Twin Cities' art scene, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. I also enjoy biking and hear the Twin Cities has outstanding bike trails. I'm also thinking of taking up ice fishing *chuckles*. My partner is an architect, so we also look forward to renovating our historical home on Summit Avenue in St. Paul.

LR: WHAT ARE YOUR RESEARCH INTERESTS?

SD: I have two diverse areas of interest. I study diastolic heart failure, which is when the heart fails to relax. At Brown, we've developed diagnostics and therapies that can be used in humans for this condition, which has no effective treatments right now. I also study sudden death and arrhythmias. We've developed a blood test that can predict sudden death risk, and also some potential therapies that are paradigm shifting with regard to raising iron channels, rather than blocking them to treat arrhythmic risk. What's exciting, is these ideas all originate in basic and translational science and we've been able to carry the ideas to human clinical trials. I've also developed a small biotech company called 3PrimeDX, which is attempting to market a blood test for sudden death risk. The company is moving with me, and I'm hoping to tap into the local angel investor and start-up community. I will also be applying for a T32 grant to support training of clinician scientists.

LR: WHAT IS YOUR FIRST GOAL ONCE YOU ARRIVE?

SD: My first goal is to become more familiar with, and successfully connect, the individual constituencies within our programs at the university and in the community. I hope to bridge the gap between the outstanding clinicians at Southdale, with the university and programs at the VA, HCMC, and Regions. Once we discover overlapping areas of interest and tap into the existing potential, we can become an internationally renowned, top-notch academic cardiology program. In essence, we'll be an outstanding clinical operation married to an outstanding science operation.