The University of Ottawa Heart Institute family mourns the loss of a pioneer researcher

October 26, 2021

It is with profound sadness that we say goodbye to Dr. Adolfo de Bold. Dr. de Bold was previously the director of the Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) and was also professor emeritus of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Ottawa.

De Bold discovered the heart has an endocrine function, one of the major cardiovascular discoveries of the past 50 years. His discovery of the atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), a heart hormone previously unknown to the scientific community, has had great significance in improving methods of treating high blood pressure and heart disease.

Dr. de Bold moved to Ottawa in 1986 to become the inaugural director of research for the new Research Centre at the UOHI until 1993. His work has been recognized through numerous national and international distinctions and awards, including the Gairdner Foundation International Award. He has been inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada, and bestowed the Grand Prix scientifique de la Fondation Lefoulon-Delalande, Institut de France.

“Dr. de Bold’s legacy truly lies in his relentless pursuit of the secrets behind the atrial natriuretic factor. He inspired and mentored a generation of future cardiovascular researchers.  We mourn his loss, but celebrate his impact on science,” said Dr. Peter Liu, UOHI chief scientific officer and vice president, research.

“We have lost one of our dearest members and a scientist who has marked forever cardiovascular research,” said Dr. Thierry Mesana, UOHI president and chief executive officer. “On behalf of the entire Heart Institute family, I would like to extend our most sincere condolences to Dr. de Bold’s family, friends and colleagues.”