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In Memoriam: Barry L. Zaret, MD

October 24, 2022

In Memoriam: Barry L. Zaret, MD


It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Robert W. Berliner Professor Emeritus of Medicine Barry L. Zaret, MD, MASNC, professor of internal medicine (cardiology) and of diagnostic radiology, on October 20 at age 82. Dr. Zaret graduated summa cum laude from Queens College, New York, in 1962. He received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1966, followed by internship and residency at Bellevue Hospital, New York, and fellowship training at Johns Hopkins University. He was recruited to Yale School of Medicine in 1973 after two years of military service.

During Dr. Zaret’s long and exhilarating scientific career, he made numerous contributions to cardiovascular medicine and arguably founded the field of nuclear cardiology. His 1973 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Noninvasive Regional Myocardial Perfusion with Radioactive Potassium — Study of Patients at Rest, with Exercise and during Angina Pectoris,” set a precedent for the emerging field of noninvasive nuclear cardiology. He served as the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology for over a decade and chief of the Section of Cardiovascular Medicine for 26 years. His research has been instrumental to our current understanding of coronary blood flow physiology, ventricular function, management and risk assessment of cardiovascular disease, and molecular imaging.

A respected teacher and mentor, he received the 1998 Solomon A. Berson Medical Alumni Achievement Award in Clinical Science from his alma mater, New York University School of Medicine, and the 2007 Distinguished Service Award of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, the highest award granted by the society. Earlier this year, the Section of Cardiovascular Medicine held the inaugural Professor Barry Zaret Honorary Lecture in recognition of his clinical and academic achievements.

A prolific writer, Dr. Zaret published Heart Care for Life: Developing the Program that Works Best for You, in 2006 to help patients understand how lifestyle behaviors may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. His poetry includes an intimate exploration of nature, grief, faith, and family heritage. His first volume, Journeys, appeared in 2012 to critical acclaim, followed by two additional works, When You Can’t Do Any More and A House of Many Rooms.

He was predeceased by his late wife, Myrna Zimmerman Zaret, and is survived by his wife, Reneé Drell; sons and their spouses, Adam Zaret (Peg), Elliot Zaret (Dr. Zoe), and Owen Zaret (Dr. Abbie); stepdaughters, Elana Drell Szyfer (Claude), Jordana Drell Herman (Gary), and Dr. Marissa Drell Maldonado (Rafael); grandchildren Jordan and Brooke Zaret; Isaac, Elidi, and Sylvie Zaret; Alexandra Zaret; Sofia, Isabella, and Paloma Szyfer; and Sage and Hazel Herman.

Nancy J. Brown, MD Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine

Gary V. Désir, MD Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity Chair, Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine Chief, Internal Medicine, Yale New Haven Hospital

Eric J. Velazquez, MD Robert W. Berliner Professor of Medicine Chief, Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale School of Medicine Chief, Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale New Haven Hospital Physician-in-Chief, Heart and Vascular Center, YNHHS

Submitted by Elisabeth Reitman on October 24, 2022