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Lohr Named New Director for the Division of Cardiovascular Disease

We are delighted that Nicole L. Lohr, M.D., Ph.D., FACC, will be the next Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease and Co-Director of the UAB Medicine Cardiovascular Institute (CVI), effective November 15, 2022, pending Provost approval.

Dr. Lohr will also serve as Director of the Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center (CCVC), a university-wide interdisciplinary research center and will be proposed to serve as the Mary G. Waters Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Dr. Lohr’s roles as Division Director, CVI Co-Director, and CCVC Director are complementary and synergistic: she will be a key leader in the Department of Medicine, the UAB Heersink School of Medicine, and UAB Medicine who will partner with Dr. James Davies, CVI Co-Director, Division Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and John W. Kirklin Endowed Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and other leaders across UAB to develop one of the nation’s premier cardiovascular programs.

Dr. Lohr is a physician-scientist and leader at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) where she is Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Clinical Trials. Dr. Lohr serves as Division Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center and is Chair-elect of the American College of Cardiology Board of Governors.

Esteemed at MCW as an exceptional teacher and mentor, Dr. Lohr’s passion for developing trainees at every level is infectious. As a physician-leader, she implemented SMARTCare at MCW to improve care for patients with stable ischemic heart disease, restructured the Cardiology clinics at the Zablocki VAMC, and led the development of VAMC programs in structural cardiology and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.

Dr. Lohr’s research aims to develop effective therapies for peripheral artery disease that use novel approaches to promote vasodilation and angiogenesis. She discovered that red light stimulates nitric oxide precursors that then release nitric oxide, which in turns dilates arteries and arterioles. Her current research aims to optimize red light delivery and confirm her findings in people with peripheral artery disease. Her research program is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (Small molecule NO precursors as a bioactive source of NO in vasodilation and angiogenesis) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (Red light-mediated trafficking of microvesicles as a mechanism of vasodilation).

A native of Wisconsin and a graduate of Marquette University, Dr. Lohr obtained her Ph.D. and M.D. from MCW, where she also trained in medicine and in cardiovascular medicine. A Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and an active member of the American Heart Association (AHA), Dr. Lohr served as board president of AHA’s Milwaukee Chapter in 2020 and as governor of ACC’s Wisconsin Chapter in 2020.

Dr. Lohr succeeds Dr. Elizabeth "Lisa" Jackson, the Robert C. Bourge and Cutessa D. Bourge Endowed Professor in Cardiovascular Disease, who served as Interim Division Director and Interim CVI Co-Director since September 2021. Dr. Jackson will continue as Director of the Division’s Cardiovascular Outcomes and Effectiveness Research Program.

Our Search Committee’s expertise and guidance were invaluable in the selection and recruitment of Dr. Lohr: Jeanne Marrazzo and Jamey Davies (co-chairs) Cindy Joiner (faculty equity adviser), Dan Berkowitz, Sam Boadu, Julian Booker, Britta Brott, Orlando Gutierrez, Tony Jones, Carrie Lenneman, Beth Lewis, Sam McElwee, Salpy Pamboukian, Greg Payne, Patricia Pritchett, Martin Young, and Jay Zhang.