Maxwell M. Wintrobe, MD, former Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, initiated and developed the concept of a cardiovascular research institute at the University of Utah. From 1967 to 1973 he served as the Planning Coordinator of CVRTI and later as Director. In 1969 the Board of Regents formally established CVRTI at the University of Utah. Dr. JA Abildskov, MD, a University of Utah graduate and distinguished cardiologist/researcher, served as Director from 1973 to 1994. Under his able leadership the Institute became internationally recognized for its important contributions to the field of cardiac electrophysiology. Robert L. Lux, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine, served as Director from 1994 to 1999. From 1999 to 2003 CVRTI was directed by three interim directors: Rob MacLeod, PhD, Bruno Taccardi, MD, PhD and Kenneth Spitzer, PhD. In  2003 Dr. Spitzer was appointed Director. Through the generous financial support of Nora Eccles Harrison, Richard A. Harrison, and the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation, the Institute expanded to its present 20,000 square feet. Steve Prescott, Guy Zimmerman, Tom McIntyre and Andy Weyrich led an exceptionally productive research team at CVRTI from 1981 until 1999 that focused on cardiovascular biochemistry and endothelial biology.