Tufts Physician-Researcher Named to Endowed Professorship

Iris Jaffe is the Elisa Kent Mendelsohn Professor of Molecular Cardiology

Iris Jaffe, associate professor of medicine and executive director of the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI), has been appointed the Elisa Kent Mendelsohn Professor of Molecular Cardiology.

Jaffe received an M.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. After completing clinical training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, she received a vascular biology research fellowship at Tufts Medical Center in 2003, in conjunction with completing a clinical cardiology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She joined the Tufts University School of Medicine faculty in 2005, and received a clinical scientist development award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH.


Iris JaffeIris Jaffe

Jaffe took on a number of leadership roles at Tufts while continuing to build her laboratory and care for patients. She was the first chair of the Women in Medicine Committee at Tufts Medical Center and previously served as chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee at the School of Medicine. She is also on the faculty of the Sackler School for Graduate Biomedical Sciences, where she is a member of the Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology Program, and she has played a leadership role in the combined M.D./Ph.D. Program. She was associate director of the MCRI before being named executive director last fall.

Jaffe is an active mentor for budding scientists, from eager high school students to undergraduate and graduate students to a growing contingent of postdoctoral fellows. In the laboratory she has combined her expertise in gene transcription and vascular biology with her interests as a clinical cardiologist to explore the molecular mechanisms that contribute to common cardiovascular diseases. She was the first to demonstrate the presence of functional mineralocorticoid receptors in human vascular cells and explored their role in hypertension, atherosclerosis, vein graft failure and pulmonary hypertension.

Jaffe is the recipient of the Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association (AHA), the Mid-Career Award for Research Excellence from the AHA Blood Pressure Research Council, and the Milton O. Zucker, M.D., F.A.C.S., and Natalie V. Zucker Prize from the School of Medicine. She is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and is a standing member of the NIH Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology Study Section.

The Molecular Cardiology Research Institute Professorship in Medicine was established in 1998 by the medical center and the medical school to support the executive director of the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute. In 2006 it was renamed the Elisa Kent Mendelsohn Professorship in Molecular Cardiology, in memory of the daughter of the chair’s inaugural holder, Michael Mendelsohn.

“I am confident that Dr. Jaffe will continue to build on Tufts’ legacy of advancing insights into the mechanisms of cardiovascular disease, as well as nurture the next generation of scientists and physician-scientists as the Mendelsohn Professor,” said Harris Berman, dean of the School of Medicine.

A note regarding the above references to the Sackler School: In December 2019, Tufts University announced that it would remove the Sackler name from all programs and facilities—including the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. At that time, the school was renamed the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

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