Nir Uriel, MD, MSc, to head heart failure program at the University of Chicago Medicine

May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014

Nir Uriel, MD, MSc, an authority on heart failure, heart transplantation and clinical management of circulatory assist devices, has been appointed associate professor of medicine and medical director of the heart failure program at the University of Chicago Medicine, effective April 1, 2014.

Uriel, 42, came to the University of Chicago from his former position as an assistant professor of medicine and director of research for the mechanical circulatory support program at Columbia University.

"Dr. Uriel is a leader in the field of mechanical circulatory support, including the use of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), and in the medical management of patients who need a heart transplant," said James Liao, MD, professor of medicine and section chief of cardiology at the University of Chicago. "He brings new strengths to an established program with a solid track record for innovative patient care."

"In addition to his busy clinical practice," Liao said, "he has done extensive research in this area. Dr. Uriel developed and validated a set of decision-making tools now used to guide treatment of patients with mechanical assist devices, and he was one of the first to determine the prevalence of acquired Type II von Willebrand's disease, a clotting disorder, in such patients."

The author of more than 80 research publications, 100 research abstracts and several book chapters, and a grant recipient from the National Institutes of Health, Uriel's research focuses on the prevention and treatment of advanced heart failure; ways to improve heart transplantation and, when necessary, re-transplantation; advances in mechanical circulatory support; and the care of high-risk transplant patients, such as those who are HIV-positive or who have received significant radiation therapy to the chest during cancer treatment.

"His innovative work has helped redefine current eligibility criteria for advanced heart failure therapy in these high-risk patients, "Liao said.

Dr. Uriel was born and grew up in Israel. He earned his bachelor-of-science and medical degrees at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He completed his internship in internal medicine at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, followed by four years as a physician in the Israeli Defense Force, initially as a combat battalion physician and then as a clinical study supervisor in the Army's medical research corps. He attained the rank of Major.

He returned to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center to complete his residency and a cardiology fellowship, followed by a year on the medical staff. He moved to Columbia University in 2008 for additional fellowships in cardiology, heart failure and transplant, and mechanical circulatory support. In 2013, he added a master's degree in biostatistics and was named "teacher of the year" by the Columbia University cardiology fellows.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for me," Uriel said. "The University of Chicago has long operated one of the most active LVAD programs in the country and the largest heart transplant program in Illinois, with additional strengths in cardiac genetics, cardiovascular imaging and transplant immunology. I look forward to the chance to make a great program even better."

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