Fritz R. Bühler started out as an internist at the University Hospital in Basel, but soon developed an interest in arterial hypertension and its role in patients with cardiac disease. His training with John H. Laragh at Columbia University in New York in the 1970s set the basis for his further career and eventually made him an internationally recognized key opinion leader in hypertension research.
Indeed, Fritz made major contributions early on during his stay in New York, initially as a research fellow and later as assistant professor, such as delineating the mechanism of action of beta-blockers on the renin-angiotensin system1 and after his return to his Alma Mater at the University of Basel in Switzerland on the role of intracellular calcium in blood pressure regulation2 and platelet function,3 as well as on the role of natriuretic peptides in heart failure4—all published in premier journals of science and medicine.
As a result, he became one of the best cited scientists in his field.
In the late 1980s and 90s, his research focused on endothelial cells as regulators of vascular function5 and on the mediators, nitric oxide and endothelin-1,6 as well as on the role of smooth muscle cells in cardiovascular disease at large.7 Fritz Bühler’s contributions to science and medicine will continue to last as he together with a team of devoted and talented fellows unravelled fundamental mechanisms of cardiovascular function in health and disease and in particular, those involved in the development of high-blood pressure.
Lastly, Fritz was an inspiring role model for young internists and cardiologists and indeed his record of successful Fellows speaks for itself. Many who trained with him became internationally recognized scientists and clinicians in their own right—indeed Fritz R. Bühler made his mark in cardiology that will endure.
Thomas F Lüscher