Dr. Chatterjee was born in Bangladesh in 1934 and moved to Calcutta, India, as a refugee. He completed medical school at the R.G. Kar Medical College in Calcutta, India, while still living in a refugee camp, and moved to England in 1964 to complete his training in internal medicine and cardiology. At St. George’s Hospital he was the first to describe post pacing T wave changes on the ECG, an effect that was later termed cardiac memory. He moved to Los Angeles and worked with Drs. Jeremy Swan and William Ganz in Cedars Sinai Medical Center and described, along with his colleagues, the hemodynamic subsets of acute coronary syndrome and provided insights into hemodynamically guided drug therapy. He was the first to report the beneficial effect of sodium nitroprusside in severe mitral regurgitation.
The major portion of Dr. Chatterjee’s career was spent at the University of California in San Francisco, where he taught several generations of innovative, successful cardiologists who became national and international leaders in their field. From 2001–2009 he directed the UCSF Chatterjee Center for Cardiac Research, named in his honor. He moved to Iowa in 2009 with his wife, Docey Edwards Chatterjee, an Iowa native. At the University of Iowa, he continued his teaching, clinical work, and writing as the first UI Kanu and Docey Edwards Chatterjee Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine.
Dr. Chatterjee wrote more than 380 peer reviewed publications and 80 reviews and chapters relating to the management of patients with cardiovascular diseases and with the assistance of several Iowa colleagues, he edited the book Cardiology – An Illustrated Textbook. He received many teaching and achievement awards including the Gifted Teacher Award from the American College of Cardiology, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Heart Failure Society of America. In 2014, he received the Herrick Award, the highest honor in clinical cardiology available from the American Heart Association.
Kanu Chatterjee was a gifted physician, teacher, and researcher, admired and regarded with profound affection by his students, colleagues, and staff. Quiet, modest, and endlessly proud of the many young physicians he had inspired and trained, he changed the practice of cardiology in the world.
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