Aram V. Chobanian

Boston University
Natick, MA
Physician; Academic administrator; Educator
Leadership, Policy, and Communications
Educational and Academic Leadership


Aram V. Chobanian, M.D. was a President Emeritus of Boston University. He was appointed President ad interim in October 2003 and was named President in June of 2005. He assumed his new position at a time of crisis associated with a failed presidential search and problems in University governance. He strengthened the ties between the University and its various constituencies, including faculty, students, staff and alumni and kept the University moving forward to fulfill its academic mission. During his tenure, a new set of governance policies and procedures were established by the Board of Trustees. In addition, the Agganis Arena, the Fitness and Recreation Center, and the Life Science and Engineering Building opened their doors. He taught at Boston University School of Medicine beginning in 1962, and subsequently served as Head of the Division of Medicine's Hypertension and Atherosclerosis Section and as Vice-Chairman for Cardiovascular Affairs in the Department of Medicine. He was principally responsible for establishing the connection between hypertension and accelerated vascular disease, including atherosclerosis. His research accomplishments propelled him into the leadership of the Joint National Commission on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure which has developed the United States' national health care guidelines for hypertension. A world-renowned cardiologist, Dr. Chobanian became the founding Director of the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute in 1973. From 1975-95, he also served as Director of the Hypertension Specialized Center of Research funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Chobanian was appointed University Professor and John I. Sandson Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences. He became Dean of the School of Medicine in 1988 and Provost of the Boston University Medical Campus in 1996. Chobanian played a leading role in the merger of Boston City Hospital with Boston University Medical Center Hospital to create Boston Medical Center. Dr. Chobanian was a member at the board of directors of the Fund for Armenian Relief. He was involved in several programs to improve health care in Armenia. These included the training of Armenian physicians, nurses, and other health professionals in emergency medicine, trauma care, and health care management; development of medical residency and post-graduate educational programs in Armenia; establishment of a successful medical student elective program for US medical students to spend one to two months in Armenian hospitals and clinics; and the provision of much-needed medical equipment, supplies, and medications to Armenia. He was a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia and the European Academy of Sciences. He received the A.B. degree (1951) in biology from Brown University and the M.D. (1955) from Harvard Medical School.

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