Burton Sobel, Towering Cardiologist, Dead At 75

Burton Sobel, a towering scientist and cardiologist, died at home on May 3 at the age of 75. Sobel had been treated in the past for prostate cancer and had suffered a recurrence, but it is not known if this was the immediate cause of his death.

Sobel was among the most powerful and influential cardiologists in the 1980s when he played a key early role in the development of fibrinolysis and the first major biotechnology product, TPA. From his perch as the chief of cardiology at Washington University in Saint Louis and as the editor of Circulation, Sobel was a member of a small group of cardiologists who set the agenda for cardiology and moved the field forward. The group, which also included James Willerson, Myron Weisfeldt, and Eugene Braunwald, was “innovative” and “visionary,” said Allan Jaffe, who worked closely with Sobel at Washington University for many years. “It was a very exciting time in cardiology,” he said.

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