Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“Once he published his discovery, the world realized how important it was. ”

© Steve Tracy and CMHF
2014 Inductee

Adolfo de Bold PhD

February 14, 1942, Paraná, Argentina
PhD - Queen’s University
Dr. de Bold is an exemplary scientist whose study of the storage granules in atrial heart cells forever changed our understanding of how the heart functions. Recognized by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as one of the most important Canadian discoveries, Dr. de Bold and his team’s isolation and sequencing of the cardiac polypeptide hormone ANF established that the heart has an endocrine function: through ANF, the heart modulates blood pressure, blood volume and cardiovascular growth at multiple levels. This seminal finding has served as the basis for many new avenues of research in cardiovascular physiology, with important clinical implications that have revolutionized patient care for conditions such as hypertension and heart failure.

Dr. de Bold undertook his university training in the Faculty of Chemical Sciences at the National University of Córdoba, Argentina, where he obtained a professional degree in Clinical Biochemistry. He then completed his residency training in Laboratory Medicine at the Hospital Nacional de Clínicas, where he was Chief Resident.

In 1968, after meeting a Queen’s faculty member in Argentina, Dr. de Bold made the adventurous move to Canada to continue his research and studies in the Department of Pathology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. There he obtained a PhD in Experimental Pathology and was appointed to academic staff in 1974. It was in Kingston that Dr. de Bold raised the profile of our entire country with respect to health research and innovation with his ground breaking discovery in 1981.

A Professor at Queen’s University until 1986, he then moved to the nation’s capital and was influential in establishing the Research Centre at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute where he was the Director of the Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory and is now an Emeritus Professor in the Faculty of Medicine.

One of Canada’s most cited authors, Dr. de Bold’s work has provided the basis for ever expanding scientific literature which now totals more than 18,000 published manuscripts. He has given more than 180 invited lectures worldwide during his illustrious career. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to cardiovascular research, Dr. de Bold has received numerous national and international honours including the Queen’s University Prize for Excellence in Research, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, The Royal Society of Canada McLaughlin Medal in Medical Research, the American Heart Association CIBA prize, the International Hypertension Society Prize, the “Living Legend” Award from the International Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons, the CIHR-Canadian Medical Association Journal’s Top Canadian Achievements in Health Research Award and his work on ANF was declared the first of the top 10 research accomplishments funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario in the past 50 years. Dr. de Bold is an Officer of the Order of Canada and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American Heart Association, the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences and the American Society for the Advancement of Science.  He is the 2014 recipient of Le Grand Prix scientifique de la Fondation Lefoulon Delalande Institut de France.