David A. Kass, M.D. is the Abraham and Virginia Weiss Professor of Cardiology, and Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, and in the graduate programs of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Pathobiology. He received his B.A. in applied physics & engineering from Harvard University in 1975 and earned his M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine in 1980. He completed his residency at George Washington University School of Medicine in internal medicine, followed by a cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Among his numerous honors received are the 2008 Basic Science Achievement Award from the American Heart Association,and Distinction in Teaching and Mentorship Awards from Johns Hopkins University. He has trained over 85 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, many of whom are in leadership positions at their institutions. Dr. Kass is Director at the Johns Hopkins Institute of CardioScience (ICS), Director of Research for the Division of Cardiology, and Co-director of a long-standing NIH-post-doctoral fellowship in cardiovascular research.
Dr. Kass' current research interests coalesse in his leadership of the Institute of CardioScience, where he coordinates basic and translational research at Johns Hopkins University with the aim of paving the road to newer and more effective treatments for cardiovascular disease. Under his directorship, the Institute is working to expand its understanding of the causes of heart muscle disease, arrhythmia, stem cell biology, and bio-mechanics, and to advance new methods to diagnose and treat heart diseases. Recently, Dr. Kass and his colleagues discovered new drugs that can treat hearts with depressed function, including a form of nitric oxide called nitroxyl, and new uses for pacemakers to treat this disease. He has also pioneered work on regulators of a critical enzyme called protein kinase G as heart failure therapies. Some of this work has already led to clinical therapies such as cardiac resynchronization. He founded a company - Cardioxyl - which was recently purchased by Bristol Meyers Squibb to continue development of nitroxyl drugs. He also is involved with studies on the role of female hormones in the development of heart failure in older individuals, and how hypertension in the arteries of the lung results in failure of the right side of the heart. His lab is funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, other private non-profit foundations, and by several companies pursuing early stage research and development of new therapies.