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Abraham and Virginia Weiss Professorship in Cardiology

School of Medicine

Established in 2004 by Abraham and Virginia Weiss

essay editor onlineGracious, warm, and caring, the Weiss family is notable for their business success and their belief in the power of philanthropy. Devoted to his wife, VIRGINIA, and their family, ABRAHAM WEISS was the consummate gentleman with a ready sense of humor and warm personality that put people immediately at ease. He was born on a homestead in Ashley, North Dakota. After his father died from heart disease at a young age, his mother moved Abe, his three brothers, and four sisters first to New Jersey, then to Baltimore. Abe graduated from Polytechnic Institute and went into the automobile business with one brother. In 1939, the four brothers merged their auto businesses into Weiss Motor Company, one of the country’s largest Ford dealerships. The brothers sold Weiss Motor Company in 1964 and founded Weiss Brothers, a partnership that owned and operated various businesses including apartments, commercial properties, insurance companies, and lumber terminals. Virginia Weiss, who died in 2007, had a deep and longstanding commitment to the communities of Baltimore and Palm Beach. She actively supported a variety of social and cultural organizations, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Council of Jewish Women, and The New York Guild for the Blind. Abe and Virginia met through their mutual enjoyment of boating. The Abraham and Virginia Weiss Professorship is the culmination of the family’s commitment to improving health care and their desire to show appreciation for the care they received in the Division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins. By endowing this professorship, Virginia and Abe could ensure the continued investigation of the science which underlies heart function. The Weiss Professorship honors Abe’s father and family members who have died from heart disease and ensures that future patients and their families will benefit from the laboratory discoveries at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Virginia and Abraham’s interest in and support of Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Division of Cardiology is continued by their children.

Held by David A. Kass

KassDavidDAVID A. KASS is the inaugural Abraham and Virginia Weiss Professor of Cardiology. He has been a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins since 1998. He joined the Division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins, first as a fellow, and then in 1986 as a faculty member, following his post-graduate training at George Washington University. Dr. Kass received an NIH Clinician Scientist Award in 1986 and an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association in 1990. He was the recipient of the first Melvin Marcus Award from the American Heart Association. At Johns Hopkins, he received the Professor’s Award for Distinction in Teaching for both Basic and Pre-clinical Sciences in 2001, and the Johns Hopkins Mentorship Award in 2003. In addition to his work as associate editor of Circulation Research, Dr. Kass serves on the editorial boards of Circulation and American Heart Journal, is on national and regional scientific research advisory boards for the American Heart Association, and is a regular reviewer for the National Institutes of Heath, and for many leading journals. Throughout his career, Dr. Kass has melded both clinical and basic science interests, pursuing each with similar levels of excitement and commitment. He has published over 170 primary research papers in leading journals, and authored many book chapters, review articles, and invited editorial/reviews. His clinical research has focused on elucidating the pathophysiology of heart failure and hypertrophy, as well as testing novel treatments for these disorders. His recent landmark work on cardiac resynchronization therapy played a major role in the rapid development of this new clinical treatment.