Dr. Steve Goldman Appointed to C. Leonard Pfeiffer Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at UA Sarver Heart Center

Steve Goldman, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, was named to fill the prestigious C. Leonard Pfeiffer Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine at the UA Sarver Heart Center.

“Dr. Goldman’s commitment to advance translational research that bridges basic science to clinical care, mentor young scientists and educate medical students, residents and fellows makes him an outstanding choice for the Pfeiffer Chair,” said Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, director of the UA Sarver Heart Center, chief of cardiology and professor of medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

“The support from the C. Leonard Pfeiffer Chair will allow us to continue our research in regenerative medicine and to support young investigators at the University of Arizona,” Dr. Goldman said. “We are very proud of the collaborative atmosphere in our laboratory, where senior scientists and young students work side-by-side, sharing ideas and doing experiments.”

For the past 40 years, the Goldman laboratory has focused research on heart failure (HF), its causes and development of new treatments.

“As a result, we now have a new way to treat heart failure using cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC),” he said. The cells are adult cells that can be reprogrammed to become stem cells capable of being differentiated into any specific cell-type, no matter what type they were when the process began.

The technology was developed by John Gurdon, DPhil, DSc, and Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, who were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2012 for creating iPSCs. “Using this technology, we have shown that we can effectively treat heart failure in laboratory models of disease by creating a tissue-engineered cardiac graft composed of specialized cells grown on a matrix,” Dr. Goldman said.

In 2014, Dr. Goldman collaborated with Jordan Lancaster, PhD, to launch a UA biotech spin-off company called Avery Therapeutics to commercialize this work. The company is transferring technology developed in his lab at the UA Sarver Heart Center for commercial use in patients. His research laboratory has received funding from the UA Sarver Heart Center, Tech Launch Arizona, the Veterans Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission, the biotechnology industry and private foundations. His laboratory has supported the development of several young investigators.

A native of Ohio, Dr. Goldman received his undergraduate education at Cornell University and his medical degree from The University of Cincinnati Medical School. He completed his residency training at the University of Illinois, the University of Chicago and Stanford University and his cardiology training at Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. In 1975, he came to the UA and the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, where he was chief of cardiology for 35 years. 

In 1972, the C. Leonard Pfeiffer Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine was the first endowed chair established in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. The Pfeiffer Research Foundation established the chair in memory of C. Leonard Pfeiffer, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 1940 and his master’s degree in 1948 at the UA. In 1974, Eugene Morkin, MD, a cardiologist and renowned heart-muscle scientist, who was a co-founder of what now is the UA Sarver Heart Center, was the first faculty member named to the Pfeiffer Chair.

The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center’s 150 members include faculty from cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, pediatric cardiology, neurology, vascular surgery, radiology, endocrinology, emergency medicine, nursing, pharmacy and basic sciences. The UA Sarver Heart Center emphasizes a highly collaborative research environment, fostering innovative translational or “bench-to-bedside” research; dedicated to innovating lifesaving patient care. If you would like to give permission for Sarver Heart Center to contact you about heart research studies, please complete a Cardiology Research Registry Information Form. The academic mission of the Sarver Heart Center encompasses for fellowship programs in cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology, advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology, and electrophysiology.