Dr. Robert Levy, a pioneer of preventive cardiology, joined the Institute in 1963 and was noted for helping to develop a widely used classification system of lipid disorders as well as studying how diet and drugs can lower cholesterol.
Leading the Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases from 1973 to 1975, Dr. Levy established a network of Lipid Research Clinics and oversaw the Coronary Primary Prevention Trial, the first study to prove that lowering blood cholesterol reduces heart disease risk. In 1976, the Institute expanded to include blood diseases and was renamed the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. During Dr. Levy's tenure, the National High Blood Pressure Education Program was implemented. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Dr. Levy left NHLBI to become Vice President and Dean of Tufts University Medical School and later became Vice President at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was president of Sandoz Research Institute and of the Wyeth-Ayers Research Division of American Home Products (AHP) before being named as senior vice president for science and technology at AHP.
Dr. Levy died in 2000.