Linking Legacies 275x275New endowed professorships recognize the impressive contributions of two longtime faculty members, John Holt Jr., M.D., and Albert Oberman, M.D., MPH. Holt’s career spanned five decades, during which he instilled a passion for the cardiovascular field in countless trainees. Oberman’s research helped lay the foundation for our current understanding of cardiovascular health.

John HoltJohn Holt Jr.The John H. Holt, Jr. M.D. and Nancy M. Holt Endowed Professorship in Cardiovascular Medicine jointly honors Nancy Holt who, like her husband, has strong ties to UAB: She served as director of UAB Medicine’s Medical Information Service via Telephone (MIST) line and Health Finder service until she retired in 2001. Holt has been at UAB since 1961, serving as professor in the Department of Medicine and earning distinction in electrocardiography.

“Dr. Holt has a wealth of experience that makes him an incredible resource to our current and past faculty, and he provides an important link to the cardiovascular disease program’s early years,” says Sumanth Prabhu, M.D., director of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease and holder of the Mary Gertrude Waters Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine. “He has always given freely to the university in terms of service and has been a stalwart supporter of cardiology education. This professorship is a fitting testament to Dr. Holt’s academic legacy at UAB.”

Holt says he and Nancy wanted to establish the professorship because it marries his academic legacy with their affinity for the School of Medicine. “UAB has given so much to me that I wanted to give back to it,” he says. The professorship will help recruit and/or retain an expert faculty member to serve in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease.

Another fund will help attract and support a leading cardiovascular investigator at UAB. The Albert Oberman, M.D., Endowed Support Fund in Cardiovascular Disease in the Division of Preventive Medicine was elevated to the Albert Oberman, M.D., Endowed Professorship in Cardiovascular Disease in 2018 thanks to support from 25 generous donors and a contribution from the School of Medicine.

Albert ObermanAlbert ObermanThe endowment pays tribute to Oberman, who started the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine over 30 years ago and served as its director for more than 25 years. A pioneer in the field, Oberman gained recognition for his involvement in landmark studies on the history, prevention, and management of cardiovascular disease. He was the principal investigator for a major study that helped develop a method for treating hypertension in preventing heart attack and stroke, and he was among the first to show that blood pressure in later life is a reflection of blood pressure in young adulthood and subsequent weight gain. He initiated an important study that demonstrated the value of weight and sodium reduction in the treatment of hypertension, and served as a member of the original expert panel that created physician guidelines for lowering cholesterol to reduce patients’ coronary heart disease risk. These critical contributions to cardiovascular research are only a few in Oberman’s long list of accomplishments.

“This fund will have a lasting effect on the work performed by the professors holding this endowed position and on the lives of the patients and students touched by their research, teaching, and care,” says Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, director of the Division of Preventive Medicine and the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center, and senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the School of Medicine.

“Philanthropic gifts make a tremendous difference in each of our divisions, and we are grateful this fund will support our world-class cardiovascular research,” adds Seth Landefeld, M.D., the Spencer Chair in Medical Science Leadership and the chair of the Department of Medicine. “This endowed professorship serves as a fitting testament to Dr. Oberman, whose contributions inspire us to deepen our understanding of cardiovascular disease.”

To give to the Department of Medicine, contact Megann Bates Cain at (205) 934-7408 or

By Bennett Page