Francis J. Haddy

54th APS President (1981-1982)
Francis J. Haddy
(b. 1922)


In 1974 Haddy first assumed an office in APS when he became chairman of the newly established Committee on Committees. He was elected to Council in 1976 and as president elect in 1980. He continues as a member of the Finance Committee (1983-; chairman, 1985-). In these dozen years many changes have occurred in the Society and also in FASEB. Settlement of governance and equity in FASEB led to a mechanism whereby new societies might join the Federation and also to launching of the current new building program. The Society was sectionalized and its journals reorganized. Participation of membership of APS in meeting programming was increased through appointment of the Program Advisory Committee with representation from sections of the Society. Career opportunities, financial development, liaison with industry, the role of women in physiology, centennial planning, changes in the fall meetings and in plenary sessions and business meetings, relations with IUPS, and public affairs all occupied the attention of Council and affected membership at large. Recently Haddy wrote:

"It was in the area of public affairs that I made my major contribution during my presidency (12). We reorganized the Public Affairs Committee, formed a state network, appointed a governmental affairs consultant, and directed a major effort toward improvement of animal care legislation. . . . Subsequent events have underscored the importance of this effort."

From his birthplace in Walters, Minnesota, Haddy studied first at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and then at the University of Minnesota (B.S., 1943; M.B., 1946; M.D., 1947). He has described his subsequent experiences in the U.S. Army and then in Visscher's department at the University of Minnesota and at the Mayo Clinic and his ultimate discovery that unwittingly he had become a physiologist in these words:

"I came into a career of research and into physiology by accident. After receiving my M.D. in 1947, I was placed on active duty by the U.S. Army and fully expected to remain there for two years. I intended to apply for a residency in internal medicine about midway through this tour of duty. Demobilization accelerated, however, and unexpectedly I was discharged after eight months. I had not yet applied for a residency. Because I lived in Minneapolis, I explored opportunities at the University of Minnesota and at the Mayo Clinictogether with hundreds of other returning physician-servicemen. There were no openings for fifteen months. I learned, however, that a year in a basic science could be applied toward the three years of formal training required by the American Board of Internal Medicine. After trying unsuccessfully to work in the Department of Pathology under E. T. Bell, I thought of physiology. I had not excelled in it in medical school but had found it interesting. I talked to Maurice B. Visscher, head of the department, and he immediately took me into his program as a candidate for a master's degree."

"His department was unique in that it was closely allied with the Department of Surgery, headed by Owen Wangensteen, and also related to physiologists at the Mayo Clinic (Earl Wood, for example). Visscher teamed me with Gilbert Campbell, one of the surgical residents working in the Department of Physiology, and with Visscher's exceptional technician, Wayne Adams. Together we developed a method for left-heart catheterization in dogs that we used for study of the pathogenesis of pulmonary edema. I wrote a thesis on this subject for my master of science degree. Then, according to plan, I went to the Mayo Clinic as a fellow in internal medicine. I quickly found that I missed research and decided to try to return to research after completion of my fellowship. Visscher sponsored my application for a research fellowship from the American Heart Association. When it was approved I returned to his department."

"At that point I was not interested in another degree, but Visscher said, "You might as well also work on a Ph.D. while you are here because it will be useful to you in many ways." I agreed, reluctantly. My thesis research involved measurement of pressures in small vessels in the peripheral circulation, and I fulfilled requirements for the degree in two years (1953). This completed my formal training, and I took my first job at Northwestern University in Chicago as assistant professor of physiology (1953-55). Later I was able to become board certified in internal medicine and still later became one of the first Clinical Investigators of the Veterans Administration."

"Visscher was right. My dual training increased my options, opened doors for me, and influenced the type of research I did and the way I chaired departments. It also created a problem or two, viz, another tour of military duty (1955-57) and an offer of a chairmanship of a Department of Physiology which forced me to declare what I was. After much reflection, I finally decided that I was, in fact, predominantly a physiologist and accepted the chair at the University of Oklahoma (1961). I did not, however, give up my connection with internal medicine and continued to hold a secondary appointment in that discipline."

As his account indicates, Haddy at first regarded himself as both an internist and a physiologist. When he returned from his second tour of military service (at the Army Medical Research Laboratory at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where Ray G. Daggs was director of research) and became a Clinical Investigator of the VA Research Hospital in Chicago, he was assistant professor of both medicine and physiology at Northwestern (1957-1961). He gave up the investigatorship when he was appointed Assistant Director of Professional Services for Research at the VA Hospital in 1959. From Chicago he moved to Oklahoma City where he served as chairman of the Department of Physiology for five years (1961-66). Simultaneously he was associate professor of medicine. From Oklahoma he moved to East Lansing, Michigan, as professor and chairman of physiology in the new College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University (1966-76). He then transferred to another new school, the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland (1976-).

Haddy was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1960 and to fellowship in the American College of Physicians the following year (1961). He has been active in regional clinical research societies, both for the central and southern regions of the United States. He belongs to the Microcirculatory Society (1959-) and was a member of its Executive Committee (1961-67). For AHA he served as a member of its Medical Advisory Board of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research (1963-) and its Executive Committee (1974-80), the Physiology and Pharmacology Study Committee (1968-71), and the Research Committee (1974-80) and was cochairman of the Cardiovascular A Research Study Committee (1974-80) and a member of the Ciba Award Committee (1977-80). He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Hypertension Association (1979-). From 1964 to 1969 he served on the Cardiovascular Study Section for NIH; he was a member of the Cardiovascular Training Committee of the National Heart and Lung Institute from 1970-1973 and has served on its Atherosclerosis and Hypertension Advisory Committee since 1983. In 1982 he organized and chaired a Gordon Research Conference on magnesium in biochemical processes and in medicine. The following year (1983) he was appointed to a Basic Biomedical Sciences Panel of the Institute of Medicine of NAS.

Haddy joined APS in 1953 and became a member of the Circulation Group eight years later (1961). In 1966 he was given the Carl J. Wiggers Award by this group and from 1971 to 1974 was a member of its Steering Committee. In 1963 he began editorial responsibilities with the Society's journals that lasted until 1969; then in 1980 he jointed the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. Other editorial boards on which he has served include those for the Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (1969-72), Circulation Research (1975-81), Microvascular Research (1978-81), Hypertension (1978-81), and Microcirculation (1980-). Haddy represented APS on the U.S. National Committee of IUPS from 1976-1979 and then again from 1981 to 1984. In 1983 he was appointed to the Audit Committee of AAMC.

Haddy noted that his research has always had "applied" (i.e., clinical) goals, including understanding of edema, shock, myocardial ischemia, and hypertension. Many of his review articles have been clinically oriented, because he has found that his training was ideally suited for bridging any communication gap between basic scientists and clinicians. He is an advocate of joint training and joint appointments. At one time he had six M.D.-Ph.D. and three D.V.M.- Ph.D. faculty members in his department, all with joint appointments. He described his own research interests as follows:

"My research activity has centered on three areas in the circulation: 1) fluid flux across capillary membranes, e.g., pulmonary edema evoked by increased capillary pressure and peripheral edema evoked by increased capillary permeability to plasma proteins (the action of histamine, bradykinin); 2) local regulation of blood flow, particularly the metabolic hypothesis in exercise hyperemia, reactive hyperemia, and autoregulation; and 3) the role of naturally occurring cations in regulating peripheral resistance, particularly in relation to low-renin hypertension. Some of my favorite publications are described below."

"In collaboration with Visscher, Campbell, and Adams (1-3) my first three papers demonstrated that several forms of pulmonary edema result from increased pulmonary capillary hydrostatic pressure. They dispelled the then-current notion that most pulmonary edemas arose from increased capillary permeability to plasma proteins. In developing a miniature catheter technique for measuring pressures in a small (0.5 mm) vein, we found that veins are not simply passive conduits for blood but can contract spontaneously and in response to various vasoactive agents and thus raise capillary hydrostatic pressure (4). A paper published with colleagues at the Army Medical Research Laboratory in Fort Knox demonstrated that autoregulation of blood flow in kidney results from active vasomotion, rather than from changes in blood viscosity, and can occur equally well during perfusion with a cell-free fluid (5). In studies of vasoactive cations and anions, we found that potassium produces vasodilation, whereas calcium produces vasoconstriction in an intact, perfused vascular bed (6, 7). Changes in extracellular sodium concentration are vasoactive only by virtue of changes in osmolality. Potassium vasodilation can be blocked with ouabain, a potent Na+, K+-ATPase inhibitor (8). We hypothesized therefore that the vasodilation results from stimulation of the Na+, K+ pump, electrogenic hyperpolarization, and hence a decreased calcium influx into smooth muscle cells of the vascular walls. When we were able to measure net fluid flux across the capillaries, we showed among other things that histamine produces edema in part by increasing permeability to plasma proteins (9). In 1976 we presented the first definitive evidence that the Na+, K+ pump is suppressing in vascular smooth muscle of animals with low-renin hypertension (10) and showed that this suppression results from action of a humoral ouabain-like factor (11) that might be a natriuretic hormone released from the brain and capable of suppressing the Na+, K+-ATPase and, hence, the pump."

Because he took part in the expansion of two established medical schools (Northwestern and Oklahoma) and helped found two new schools (at Michigan State and in Bethesda), Haddy wrote that an appropriate summary of his career might be the statement, "I go around the country opening new medical schools." Now that the medical educational establishment is contracting rather than expanding, a career of this type seems to have a somewhat limited future!

Selected Publications

1. Haddy, F. J., G. S. Campbell, W. L. Adams, and M. B. Visscher. A study of pulmonary venous and arterial pressures and other variables in the anesthetized dog by flexible catheter techniques. Am. J. Physiol. 158: 89, 1949.

2. Campbell, G. S., F. J. Haddy, W. L. Adams, and M. B. Visscher. Circulatory changes and pulmonary lesions in dogs following increased intracranial pressure and the effect of atropine upon such changes. Am. J. Physiol. 158: 96, 1949.

3. Haddy, F. J., G. S. Campbell, and M. B. Visscher. Pulmonary vascular pressure in relation to edema production by airway resistance and plethora in dogs. Am. J. Physiol. 161: 336, 1950.

4. Haddy, F. J., A. G. Richards, J. L. Alden, and M. B. Visscher. Small vein and artery pressures in normal and edematous extremities of dogs under local and general anesthesia. Am. J. Physiol. 176: 355, 1954.

5. Haddy, F. J., J. Scott, M. Fleishman, and D. Emanuel. Effect of change in flow rate upon renal vascular resistance. Am. J. Physiol. 195: 111, 1958.

6. Emanuel, D. A., J. B. Scott, and F. J. Haddy. Effect of potassium on small and large blood vessels of the dog forelimb. Am. J. Physiol. 197: 637-642, 1959.

7. Haddy, F. J. Local effects of sodium, calcium and magnesium upon small and large blood vessels of the dog foreleg. Circ. Res. 8: 57, 1960.

8. Chen, W. T., R. A. Brace. J. B. Scott, D. K. Anderson, and F. J. Haddy. The mechanism of the vasodilatory action of potassium. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 140: 820, 1972.

9. Haddy, F. J., J. B. Scott, and G. J. Grega. Effects of histamine on lymph protein concentration and flow in the dog forelimb. Am. J. Physiol. 223: 1172-1177, 1972.

10. Overbeck, H. W., M. B. Pamnani, T. Akera, T. M. Brody, and F. J. Haddy. Depressed function of a ouabain-sensitive sodium-potassium pump in blood vessels from renal hypertensive dogs. Circ. Res. 38, Suppl. II: 48, 1976.

11. Pamnani, M., S. Huot, J. Buggy, D. Clough, and F. Haddy. Demonstration of a humoral inhibitor of the Na+, K+ pump in some models of experimental hypertension. Hypertension Dallas 3, Suppl. 2: 96-101, 1981.

12. Haddy, F. J. Past-president's address. I think I would rather watch them make sausage. Physiologist 25: 466-468, 1982.