John Henry Laragh, M.D.

Cardiovascular Disease
John Laragh

John Laragh is both a physician and a scientist. He is Professor of Medicine in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of the Cardiovascular Center at The New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center ((1997 -).    

The author of over 900 papers including the two volume text, Hypertension: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Dr. Laragh is especially known for his discovery, reported in four human studies in 1960, of the previously unknown renin-angiotensin aldosterone hormonal control system.

Dr. Laragh is married to Dr. Jean Sealey, the distinguished biochemist and physiologist. They share interests in golf and photography and spend leisure time with their son Robert at their homes in Florida and Southampton, Long Island.

PERSONAL AND SCIENTIFIC BIOGRAPHY

John Laragh is both a physician and a scientist.

He is Professor of Medicine in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of the Cardiovascular Center at The New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center (1997 -). Born and raised in Yonkers, Laragh attended Cornell University and graduated from Cornell Medical College in 1948. He took residency training in Medicine and Cardiology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Presbyterian Hospital where he then based his clinical and research activities, founded the first Hypertension Center, became Chief of Nephrology and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Presbyterian Hospital before returning to New York Hospital-Cornell in 1975 to become Director of the Cardiovascular Center and Chief of Cardiology to thereby assume responsibility for patient care and training scientists and clinicians in hypertension and in cardiology while leading a cardiovascular research program supported for 25 years by the National Institutes of Health (1975-2000).

   

The author of over 900 papers including the two volume text, Hypertension: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Treatment. Dr. Laragh has made scholarly contributions to a range of cardiovascular research and therapeutic questions on the causes and consequences of high blood pressure, the roles of abnormal kidney and adrenal cortical hormones and of dietary sodium in hypertension and in heart failure and especially on the roles of renin-angiotensin, aldosterone, diuretics, beta blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers, and converting enzyme inhibitors for analyzing and correctly treating hypertension to prevent its fatal consequences.

Dr. Laragh is especially known for his discovery, reported in four human studies in 1960, of the previously unknown renin-angiotensin aldosterone hormonal control system, for his descriptions of it as the major longterm regulator of both ambulatory blood pressure levels and body sodium and potassium content in all of us, and for his companion discovery that unabated overactivity of this kidney-based renin system creates large excesses of renin-angiotensin and aldosterone in the blood that cause malignant hypertension (MHT) and its angiotensin induced vasculotoxic arteriolar injury, in eye, brain, heart and kidney vessels thereby rapidly leading to fatal heart attack or stroke, or heart or kidney failure.

Dr. Laragh’s two long-term collaborators, Dr. Jean Sealey (45 years), and Dr. Michael Alderman (30 years) have been of central importance to the conception and execution of this research program.

Many of his trainees also contributed vitally to the research effort, 25 of whom now direct their own academic units the world over.

Dr. Laragh is married to Dr. Jean Sealey, the distinguished biochemist and physiologist.

They share interests in golf and photography and spend leisure time with their son Robert at their homes in Florida and Southampton, Long Island.

Honors and Awards

1969 Recipient of the Stouffer Prize for Hypertension Research, American Heart Association

1975 TIME Magazine, Cover Story, January 13, 1975

1976 Recipient, Order of Merit Medal, Republic of Santo Domingo

1976 Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement

1980 Honorary Fellowship Award, American College of Clinical Pharmacology

1980 Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, Korean Medical Association of America

1981 The Outstanding Achievement Award, American Society of Contemporary Medicine and Surgery

1990 Robert Tigerstedt Award, American Society of Hypertension

1990 John P. Peters Award, American Society of Nephrology

1993 Distinguished Alumnus Award, Cornell University Medical College

1993 Lifetime Achievement in Medicine Award, The New York Academy of Medicine

1996 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cardiovascular/Metabolic Research

1999 Distinguished Achievement Award, Council for High Blood Pressure Research, American Heart Association.

2002 Stevo Julius Award for Education in Hypertension, International Society of Hypertension

2005 The 2005 Lewis and Jack Rudin New York Prize for Medicine and Health

SCIENTIFIC CITATIONS:

1977   Most frequently cited scientist, with 21 citations, 8 identified as key advances, in "The Top Ten Clinical Advances in Cardio¬vascular - Pulmonary Medicine and Surgery between 1945 and 1975." J.H. Comroe and R.D. Dripps. Report, January 31, 1977.

1981   Among "The 1000 Contemporary Scientists Most Cited, 1965-1978." Current Contents 41: 5-14, October 12, 1981.