Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Howard University Hospital

The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Howard University Hospital features a comprehensive cardiovascular diagnostic and treatment program. Our board-certified cardiologists specialize in:

  • Hypertension
  • Preventive cardiology
  • Valvular heart disease

We focus on cardiac issues that affect multi-ethnic, international patient populations.

Outstanding Care and Research Innovation

The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Howard University Hospital provides exceptional care using state-of-the-art technology at a single, conveniently located facility. Our innovative research is aimed at achieving better health and educational outcomes for our patients and their families.

Areas of research in cardiovascular medicine include:

  • Hypertensive heart disease
  • Psychological stress and cardiovascular disease risk
  • Biomarkers and cardiovascular risk prediction
  • Impact of health care reform on cardiovascular care
  • Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease

Pioneering Achievements

The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Howard University Hospital has achieved distinction through the pioneering efforts of outstanding medical professionals.

Walter M. Booker, Sr. (1907-1990)

Dr. Booker, a former professor and chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Howard University, was awarded a Fulbright fellowship in Belgium. He conducted groundbreaking research on the effects of catecholamine on the heart. He received acclaim for "Catecholamines in the Isolated Heart, and Carotid Sinus Reflex Studies and Antihypertensive Drugs," one of more than 100 scientific papers he authored during his career.

In recognition of his life and work, the Association of Black Cardiologists honored him with the annual Dr. Walter M. Booker, Sr. Memorial Symposium.

Charles L. Curry, M.D. (1934 - present)

From 1973 to 2000, Dr. Curry served as the longest sitting chief of cardiovascular medicine at Howard University. Nationally recognized for his expertise on the problems of cardiovascular disease and hypertension, Dr. Curry is the first African American to receive post-graduate training in medicine and cardiology at Duke University.

Dr. Curry's accomplishments include:

  • First board-certified African American cardiologist in the United States.
  • First and only African American to serve on the board of trustees for the American College of Cardiology. 
  • First African American selected Physician of the Year (1999) by the American Heart Association.

He has the distinction of training more African Americans to become cardiologists than anyone else in the world.

Charles Richard Drew, M.D. (1904 -1950)

Dr. Drew led a distinguished career in American medicine. A graduate of Amherst College and McGill University College of Medicine, he completed clinical training in surgery at Howard University, becoming chief surgical resident. After a hiatus in New York, he returned to Howard University to become professor of surgery and chief surgeon, positions he maintained until his death.

Dr. Drew's doctoral thesis, "Banked Blood" (1940), set the blueprint for establishing a blood bank, which he established at the Columbia University Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. Dr. Drew's research, along with that of others, helped make blood transfusions safe and feasible. In 1941, as medical director of the first American Red Cross Blood Bank in the United States, he pioneered the production of dried plasma that could be preserved longer than liquid plasma. As an eminent surgeon and educator, Dr. Drew focused on training competitive African American surgeons.

Edward William Hawthorne, M.D., Ph.D. (1920-1986)

Dr. Hawthorne received his medical degree from Howard University in 1946 and a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Illinois. Appointed as professor and head of department of physiology in 1958, he also served as dean of the graduate school of arts and sciences. 

Dr. Hawthorne pioneered the use of electronically instrumented large animals for investigation in cardiovascular physiology. He was responsible for some of the seminal work in myocardial contractility and cardiac muscle mechanics. In honor of his contributions, Howard University established the Sigma Xi Hawthorne Lecture.

L. Julian Haywood, M.D. (present)

Dr. Haywood trained in medicine at Howard University. His groundbreaking contributions demonstrated the utility of coronary care unit rhythm monitoring to save lives after heart attacks. He developed the first digital computer method for rhythm disturbance detection (now the world standard).

Dr. Haywood's accomplishments:

  • African Americans are at high risk for heart attack deaths and that socioeconomic factors increase heart disease and stroke risk.
  • Effective therapy reduces the risk of high blood pressure.

Dr. Haywood's long career in medical education, research and service has spawned the careers of many students. The first African American professor of cardiology at a major medical school, Dr. Haywood received the award of merit of the American Heart Association and the distinguished service award of the American College of Cardiology.

John Beauregard Johnson (1908-1972)

Dr. John Beauregard Johnson, the first director of the division of cardiology at Howard University, led a distinguished career in both research and teaching. He fulfilled the role of ambassador for programs that would surpass racial barriers by promoting recognition and opportunity for African American physicians. 

Dr. Johnson's prolific research career is reflected in his numerous publications beginning in 1941, several of which garnered honors and publication in the nation's medical journals. A seminal component of his research focused on angiography earned him a citation in 1966 from the Angiology Journal for the outstanding publication for his paper, "Arteriovenous Fistula and Multiple Saccular Arterial Aneurysms of a Finger, Following Childhood Human Bite." He was one of the first cardiologists to raise the issue of disparate effects of hypertension among African Americans. He was a champion in the fight for parity in recognition for African American physicians.

Lectures, Symposia and Events

The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Howard University Hospital sponsors lectures, symposia and events.

Second Annual Distinguished Cardiovascular Lectureship and Poster Competition

The John Beauregard Johnson, M.D., M.Sc., Second Annual Distinguished Cardiovascular Lectureship and Cardiovascular Poster Competition took place in May 2014. Distinguished lectureship honorees included:

  • Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health
  • Paul M. Ridker, M.D.
  • Eugene Braunwald, professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School and director of cardiovascular disease prevention, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Association of Black Cardiologists 40th Anniversary Scientific Sessions

The Sessions featured Eugene Braunwald, M.D. and were held in collaboration with Howard University Cardiovascular Division.

Dr. Herbert W. Nickens Memorial Lecture

Lecture was presented by Kim Allan Williams, M.D., president-elect, American College of Cardiology and James Herrick professor and chief of cardiology, Rush University School of Medicine.

Global Health ABC 40th Anniversary Scientific Sessions Lecture

The event hosted Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., Richard Gorlin endowed professor and physician in chief and director of Mount Sinai Cardiovascular Institute, Mount Sinai Medical Center. The 40th anniversary scientific session journal editor's roundtable was featured.

Heart Month Red Dress Event

Dresses worn in the Miss Black USA Pageant were displayed in the hospital lobby to increase awareness about heart disease in women and their families, February 2014.

Awards and Honors of Distinction

Our medical staff is nationally recognized for efforts to advance cardiovascular medicine with numerous awards and honors, including:

Charu Gandotra, M.D.
Howard University College of Medicine Bridge Funds and Pilot Study Awards Program Award/Grant, 2013.

Bryan Curry, M.D.
Recognized by "Super Doctors," 2013, for professional achievements.

Selomie Kebede, M.D. (CVD Fellow)
Received American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines Fellow Seed Grant, 2014.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Faculty

Deborah Williams, M.D.

  • Electrophysiology
  • Device therapy in heart failure
  • Heart failure
  • Women and heart disease
  • Business of health care and quality improvement         

Prafulla Mehrotra, M.D.

  • Valvular heart disease
  • Electrocardiography
  • Ambulatory monitoring

Otelio Randall, M.D.

  • Preventive cardiology
  • Clinical and research experience in hypertension management

Bryan Curry, M.D.

  • Vascular disease
  • Cardiovascular imaging

Mohammad Ghazvini, M.D.

  • Invasive cardiac electrophysiology (arrhythmia ablation therapy)

Charu Gandotra, M.D.

  • Cardio-oncology
  • Cardiovascular imaging

Steven Singh, M.D.

  • Cardiac arrhythmia                         

Julus Ngwa, Ph.D.

  • Research in statistics, cardiovascular genetics

Gladel Dorsey

  • Program coordinator, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program