Adolfo J. de Bold, OC PhD FRSC

Photo: Julie Oliver, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Photo: Julie Oliver, University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Adolfo de Bold is a cardiovascular researcher, best known for his discovery of atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), a polypeptide hormone secreted by heart muscle cells. He was funded by the Banting Research Foundation in 1980 for his studies on storage granules in atrial heart cells. The resulting discovery and isolation of atrial natriuretic factor changed our understanding of how the heart functions, and opened up a new field of research, resulting in diagnostic and therapeutic applications in the treatment of heart failure and hypertension. The discovery of the endocrine function of the heart was named one of the top six achievements in Canadian health research by the CIHR and Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2009.

Dr de Bold came to Canada from Argentina in 1968 for graduate studies at Queen’s University, Kingston, where he earned a PhD in experimental pathology. He was a professor at Queen’s U until he moved to the University of Ottawa, where he became Director of Research at University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Dr de Bold received the 1986 Gairdner Foundation International Award for the discovery and characterization of ANF. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992, and was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2014.

Publications acknowledging support from the Banting Research Foundation:

  • Atrial natriuretic factor of the rat heart. Studies on isolation and properties. de Bold AJ. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1982 Jun;170(2):133-8. PMID:7201139
  • Tissue fractionation studies on the relationship between an atrial natriuretic factor and specific atrial granules. de Bold AJ. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1982 Mar;60(3):324-30. PMID:7200387