Gary Francis, MD, FACC, FAHA, FACP

Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division

Gary Francis

Contact Info

Mailing Address:
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 508 Mayo
8508A (Campus Delivery Code)
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Cheryl Tincher

Administrative Email

Administrative Fax Number

Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division

Executive Medical Director, Cardiovascular Service Line


Medical School, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE

Residency, U.S. Navy

Fellowship, Naval Regional Medical Center UCSD, San Diego, CA


I am pleased to highlight my 35-year career as a clinical investigator. Following my discharge from the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1977 at the Naval Regional Medical Center in San Diego, I joined Dr. Jay Cohn’s group of highly active cardiovascular investigators at the University of Minnesota. This move transformed my career. In 1979 I became essentially a full-time, laboratory-based clinical investigator, working closely with a team that performed physiology and pharmacology studies in patients and in animal models with heart failure. We had a research catheterization lab, a biochemistry core lab, a molecular biology lab and an active animal laboratory. In 1990 I took on more clinical duties as Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Hospitals, but also continued to work closely with Dr. Cohn and the NHLBI in the design and development of a number of large clinical trials. Our over-arching hypothesis was that heart failure had an important neurohormonal component, and that drugs designed to block angiotensin II and norepinephrine would reverse some of the left ventricular structural abnormalities and thereby improve cardiac function and patient survival. We worked in small teams with several academic health centers, and worked closely with the Clinical Trials Branch at the NHLBI (Prof. Salem Yusuf). I was also fortunate to work with many excellent trainees, research fellows, staff and faculty and witnessed first-hand a transformation in the model of heart failure treatment. In 1997 I was recruited to the Cleveland Clinic where I continued to teach, care for patients and do research. I became Head of Clinical Cardiology and co-authored about 70 papers while there, mostly with a young trainee Dr. H. Wilson Tang. I served as President of the Heart Failure Society of America from 2004-2006. In 2008 I moved back to the University of Minnesota and joined the Cardiovascular Division. In June of 2014, I was given the Andersen Chair and made Interim Chief of the Cardiovascular Division and the Executive Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Service Line for our healthcare system. I served as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Cardiac Failure from 2010 to 2014. In 2014, I received a Life Time Achievement Award from the Heart Failure Society of America. I also served on the Editorial Boards of virtually all of the major cardiology journals including Circulation and JACC, and have served on 32 DSMBs of major clinical trials. My primary responsibilities are now administration and research.


Treatment of patients with cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

Awards & Recognition

  • Lifetime Achievement Award-HFSA
  • Distinguished Teacher Award-ACC
  • President of the Heart Failure Society of America
  • Editor and Chief of the Journal of Cardiac Failure (2010-2014)

Professional Associations

  • President, Heart Failure Society of America (2004-2006)
  • Interim Chief, Cardiovascular Division, University of Minnesota (2014)
  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Cardiac Failure
  • Executive Medical Director, Cardiovascular Service Line (2014)


Research Summary/Interests

Previous NIH Funding:

  • NIH – I – MOI – RR018390 – 01, General Clinical Research Center (Assist. Medical Director) – Cleveland Clinic
  • NIH – SCCOR 1 – P50 – HL077107-01 Molecular Determinants of Coronary Artery Disease – Cleveland Clinic


Original Investigations:

  • John J.V. McMurray, M.D., Milton Packer, M.D., Akshay S. Desai, M.D., M.P.H., Jianjian Gong, Ph.D., Martin P. Lefkowitz, M.D., Adel R. Rizkala, Pharm.D., Jean L. Rouleau, M.D., Victor C. Shi, M.D., Scott D. Solomon, M.D., Karl Swedberg, M.D., Ph.D., and Michael R. Zile, M.D. for the PARADIGM-HF Investigators and Committees (Member of DSMB). Angiotensin-neprilysin inhibition versus enalapril in heart failure. N Engl J Med 2014; 371:993-1004 September 11, 2014 DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1409077.
  • Chakravarty T, Makkar RR, Ascheim D, Traverse JH, Schatz R, DeMaria A, Francis GS, Smith R, Lima JA, Pagoda JM, Marban L, Henry TD. Allogenic Heart Stem Cells to Achieve Myocardial Regeneration (ALLSTAR): Rationale and Design. Cell Transplantation, August 12, 2016 (e-published ahead of print).
  • Packer MD, McMurray JJV, Krum H, Kiowski W, Massie BM, Caspi A, Pratt CM, Petri MC, DeMets D, Kobrin I, Roux S, Swedberg K on behalf of the ENABLE Investigators and Committees (Member of DSMB). Long-Term Effect of Endothelin Receptor Antagonism with Bosentan on the Morbidity and Mortality of Patients with Severe Chronic Heart Failure: Primary Results of the ENABLE Trials. J Am Coll Cardiology Heart Failure 2017;5:317-326.
  • Skubitz KM, Blaes AH, Konety SH, Francis GS. Cardiac safety profile of patients receiving high cumulative doses of pegylated-liposomal doxorubicin: Use of left ventricular rejection fraction is of unproven value. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. Published online 30 August 2017. DOI 10.1007/S00280-017-3420-8.

Editorials, Viewpoints, Perspectives:

  • Francis, GS, Thenappan T: ?-blockers in heart failure – do we finally have the last word? Eur Heart J (retracted after primary paper was rejected-editorial error EHJ) – 2015
  • Francis, GS, Thenappan T: The end is near… do we know everything about cardiopulmonary exercise testing in HF patients? J Am Coll Cardiol 2016; 67(7):790-792
  • Francis GS. Cholesterol and heart failure: Is there an important connection? J Am Coll Cardiol 2017;70:2137-2138.
  • Francis GS, Alexy T. Furosemide reimagined. J Am Coll Cardiol-Heart Failure 2018;6:71-72.
  • Francis GS, Tang WH, Felker GM: A Test in Context: Critical evaluation of natriuretic peptide testing in heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol 2016; 67:330-337.
  • Chirakarnjanakorn S, Navaneethan SD, Francis GS, Tang WHW. Cardiovascular impact in patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis: Clinical management considerations. International Journal of Cardiology 2017;232:12-23.

Books Edited:

  • Francis GS, Alraies MC, Pritzker MR: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). In: Garry DJ, Wilson RF, Vlodaver Z, eds. Congestive Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation: Clinical Pathology, Imaging and Molecular Profiles. Springer Nature, Switzerland. Chapt. 13, 2017, pp 197-209.

Expert Guidelines, Competency Documents and Official Position Statements:

  • Bozkurt B, Aguilar D, Deswal A, Dunbar S, Francis GS, Howwich T, Jessup M, Pritchett A, Ramasubbu K, Rosendorff C, Yancy C: On behalf of the American Heart Association Heart Failure and Transplantation Committee of the Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council of Hypertension: and Council on Quality and Outcomes Research. Contributory Risk and Management of Comorbidities of Hypertension, Obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperlipidemia, and Metabolic Syndrome in Chronic Heart Failure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2016;134-00:00. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.000000000000450
  • Bozkurt B, Colvin M , Cook J , Cooper LT, Deswal A, Fonarow GC, Francis GS, Lenihan D, Lewis EF, McNamara DM, Pahl E, Vasan RS, Ramasubbu K, Rasmusson K, Towbin JA and Yancy C and On behalf of the American Heart Association Committee on Heart Failure and Transplantation of the Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Epidemiology and Prevention; and Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Current Diagnostic and Treatment Strategies for Specific Dilated Cardiomyopathies: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association Circulation 2016: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000455
  • Cook JL, Colvin M, Francis GS,Grady KL, Hoffman TM, Jessup M, John R, Kiernan MS, Mitchell JE, Pagani FD, Petty M, Ravichandran P, Rogers JG, Semigran MJ, Toole JM; on behalf of the American Heart Association Heart Failure and Transplantation Committee of the Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation; Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention; and Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia. Recommendations for the use of mechanical circulatory support: ambulatory and community patient care: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2017;135:e1145-e1158. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000507.


Academic Interests and Focus

Role of hormones in heart failure

Teaching Areas

Students, residents, fellows, faculty


Second year CV course



  • Congestive heart failure


Transplant Center

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Medicine-Internal Medicine
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplantation

Clinical Interests

Cardiomyopathy and heart failure

Hospital Privileges

University of Minnesota Medical Center