Apr 30, 2001
Dr. Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Medical College of Cornell University and a world-renowned authority in the field of cardiovascular medicine, has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 221-year-old honor society whose purpose is "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people."
Dr. Gotto and his associates were the first to achieve the complete synthesis of a significant plasma apoplipoprotein (apoC-I), and they also determined the complete cDNA and amino acid sequence of apo B-100, one of the largest proteins ever sequenced and a key protein in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
"Tony" Gotto became Dean at Weill Cornell after two decades at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston. Among his contributions since he joined Weill Cornell are his continuing insights into the benefits of the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs for cardiac primary prevention, and the potential predictive value of certain apolipoproteins that are major components of LDL and HDL, the so-called "bad" and "good" cholesterols, respectively.
At Weill Cornell, Dr. Gotto has either implemented or brought to fruition a Strategic Research Plan, which will markedly expand the school's research effort; a new problem-based, student-centered curriculum; a new state-of-the-art education center; and an increased donor base and school endowment. In a break from precedent, he has led Cornell University and the Medical College into an extraordinary commitment to build and operate a whole new branch of the Medical College in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar.
Dr. Gotto received his B.A., magna cum laude, in biochemistry in 1957 from Vanderbilt University; his D.Phil. in biochemistry in 1961 from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar; and his M.D. in 1965 from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He did his residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
He has served as National President of the American Heart Association, as a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council, and on the National Diabetes Advisory Board, among many other associations. He has received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Bologna and Abilene Christian University, and honorary professorships from the University of Buenos Aires and Francisco Marroquin University (Guatemala). He was awarded the prestigious Order of the Lion from the Republic of Finland.
His original scholarly articles number close to 400. He is also co-author, with Dr. Michael DeBakey, of The Living Heart and The New Living Heart Diet, and author of The Living Heart Cookbook.
With offices in Cambridge, Mass., the American Academy of Arts and Sciences boasts 3,700 Fellows and 600 Honorary Foreign Members. John Adams, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin belonged to the Academy, and so did Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Woodrow Wilson, Charles Steinmetz, and Samuel Eliot Morrison.