Angelo Scanu, MD , professor emeritus and a distinguished member of the cardiology faculty died on January 12,2018. He was 93 years old.
Dr. Scanu began his illustrious career at the University of Chicago in 1961 and rose to prominence as a world authority on lipoprotein biology and metabolism. Born in Sardinia, Italy, Dr. Scanu received his MD from Sassari University Medical School in Sassari, Italy in 1949 where he remained for his internal medicine internship and residency training. Upon completion he served as a research fellow at Barcelona University Medicine School in Spain, and at Lund University Medical School in Sweden. In 1953 he returned to Italy as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Head of the Laboratory of Research Lipids at Naples University. In 1955 he obtained a Fulbright Scholarship and began research studies in biochemistry at the Cleveland Clinic. He remained at the Cleveland Clinic until 1961 when he entered our internal medicine residency program. In 1963 he was appointed to the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine (Cardiology) ,and as assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry in 1966. He successfully rose through the academic ranks and was promoted to associate professor of medicine and research associate (associate professor) of biochemistry in 1967, followed by professor of medicine and biochemistry in 1970 , and professor of molecular biology in 1985, positions he held until he retired in 2010. In 1982, he was appointed as the Director of the Lipoprotein Study Unit and Lipid Clinic, a position he held for many years. He also directed the NHLBI Shared Research Facilities from 1985-1991 and served as the associate program director for the Cardiovascular Research Training Grant for 10 years.
Dr. Scanu’s research was devoted to the study of the structure and function of the plasma lipoproteins. He pioneered delipidation techniques for the preparation of lipoprotein proteins essentially in a lipid free form and in doing so opened up the field of apolipoprotein research to which he was the main contributor for more than three decades. His many seminal contributions included the elucidation of the structure and biology of Lp(a), a genetic factor associated with the risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. In particular, he characterized the molecular properties of the microdomains of apolipoproteins (a) and their respective role in cardiovascular pathogenicity, an area where he made many seminal contributions. Dr. Scanu led a very successfully research program and was highly funded for the majority of his career. He served as PI of the NIH SCOR Center on Atherosclerosis from 1971-1986, and as PI of several R01’s and other P series awards . He authored nearly 450 original publications and owned two patents for his work.
Dr. Scanu received numerous awards and recognition including the Samuel Natelson Award from the American Heart Association and the Gold Medal for Scientific Achievement from the University of Naples. He was member of many prestigious societies including the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and was an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science . He served on many editorial boards including the Journal of Lipid Research, Biochemistry , Journal of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease. He was an active member of the American Heart Association and served the NIH as chairman of the Biochemistry and Biophysics Study Section B. In 2010, Dr. Scanu was the recipient of the Department’s Distinguished Service Award.
A memorial service for Dr. Scanu is being planned. Details will be forthcoming.