Dr. Robert Grant served only 5 months as Director of the National Heart Institute when sudden cardiac death tragically cut his tenure short in August 1966.
He had served in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Air Force from 1942 to 1945. After furthering his medical training, he was on the faculty of Emory University from 1947 to 1950, where he developed the concept and techniques for spatial vector electrocardiography, Dr. Grant entered the U.S. Public Health Service and joined the National Heart Institute in 1950, conducting research in electrocardiography, cardiac pathology, and clinical cardiology until administering the Institute’s training grants and fellowship awards program, 1959-1961. He joined the NIH Office of International Research and was named chief of the European Office in Paris.
Dr. Grant is credited with transforming the study of heart attacks when, as director of the National Heart Institute, he established a network of nine Myocardial Infarction Research Units around the country. These units built clinical and basic research into state-of-the-art Coronary Care Units and laid the groundwork for the Specialized Centers of Research program, which continue to be a core NHLBI research mechanism.