Cuihua Zhang (1962–2011)
Cuihua Zhang, Associate Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine, Pharmacology and Physiology, and Nutrition at the University of Missouri, died on October 1, 2011, after a battle with gastric cancer. Dr Zhang is survived by her husband, Marvin, and her son, Zhen. She was a devoted scientist who remained active to her last day. She received an MD degree from Jin Zhou Medical College in Liaoning, China, and her PhD degree from Peking Union Medical College. Her PhD thesis focused on endothelium-derived relaxing factor in hypertension, and she initiated her postdoctoral research studying neural control of the circulation. Dr Zhang continued her postdoctoral research at Texas A&M University, where she started her studies on the coronary microcirculation—a theme that would continue in her research program. Her first faculty appointment was in the Departments of Anesthesiology, Surgery, and Physiology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, followed by a move to Texas A&M University in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and finally to the University of Missouri.
Over the course of her professional career, Dr Zhang developed a successful independent research program, employing novel strategies to understand the basis of many pathophysiological disturbances of the coronary microcirculation. These contributions were recognized by many awards, honors, and grants. She received the Young Investigator Travel Award from the Microcirculatory Society, Young Investigator Award from the American Physiological Society, and the Werner Risau New Investigator Award from the American Heart Association. She was awarded a Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association and two R01s from the National Institutes of Health. Dr Zhang was active in the Microcirculatory Society, the American Physiological Society, and the American Heart Association, where she was honored as a Fellow of the American Heart Association. She served on many editorial boards, including Circulation Research. She contributed more than 70 peer-reviewed publications.
I was saddened to learn of her passing, and despite the fact that Dr Zhang's career had not yet reached its zenith, I hope that her achievements, and her passion for science and research, serve as a model for young scientists.
The opinions expressed in this editorial are not necessarily those of the editors or of the American Heart Association.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.