College of Medicine – Tucson welcomes new Sarver Heart Center director, cardiology division chief

April 29, 2024
By David Bruzzese, UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson has appointed Hesham Sadek, MD, PhD, as the new director of the Sarver Heart Center and chief of the Division of Cardiology, effective May 1.

Sadek brings a wealth of experience and an impressive research portfolio from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he served as associate director of the Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine and a professor of internal medicine/cardiology with joint appointments in biophysics and molecular biology.

Sadek’s appointment marks a significant milestone in the college’s ongoing efforts to enhance its cardiac care and research capabilities.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Sadek to our team,” said Michael M.I. Abecassis, MD, MBA, the Humberto and Czarina Lopez Endowed Dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson. “Dr. Sadek will not only lead revitalization of the Sarver Heart Center, but also help build a new comprehensive cardiovascular research institute, anchored within the center, which will advance our mission to pioneer new therapies and help provide top-tier care to    our patients.”

Sadek is recognized internationally for his research into the activation of mechanisms involved in the regeneration of damaged heart muscle. His seminal discovery of the newborn mammalian heart’s ability to regenerate has significantly altered the landscape of cardiac biology. His current research includes advancing drug discovery to enhance heart regeneration and address rare genetic mutations causing heart failure.

His work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2011, and his clinical expertise in echocardiography and heart muscle function ensures that cutting-edge research translates into superior      patient care.

“As a physician-scientist, Dr. Sadek brings with him experience and expertise to provide and enhance the academic cardiovascular care and education within our community while also providing access to next-       generation research and understanding in heart failure and regeneration. We are pleased to add his leadership and vision to the Banner – University Medicine and Sarver Heart teams,” said Venkata “Bob” Evani, MD, CEO of Banner – University Medical Group and president of Banner Academics.

Sadek’s dedication extends beyond the lab and clinic to the classroom and mentorship. He has guided nearly 100 students and professionals in their careers, and his arrival at the College of Medicine – Tucson is expected to enrich the training and development of the next generation of cardiovascular specialists and health care professionals.

“We are extremely fortunate to recruit someone of the caliber of Dr. Sadek,” said James K. Liao, MD, Department of Medicine chair, the Robert S. and Irene Flinn Endowed Professor in Medicine, and a member of the Division of Cardiology faculty and Sarver Heart Center. “He brings an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm to our clinical cardiology program, and his innovative ideas will surely transform the Sarver Heart Center into a preeminent research institution. I am excited about his leadership and vision, and look forward to working with him to make this happen.”

Sadek also is associate editor of the cardiovascular journal Circulation and serves on several American Heart Association committees.


David Bruzzese
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson