University of Minnesota

Russell V. Luepker, MD, MS

Born: 1942

Russ Luepker is a contemporary international leader in cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention. He was born in Chicago and educated at Grinnell College, receiving his MD from the University of Rochester in 1969 and MS in Epidemiology from Harvard in 1976.

Immediately after his training in epidemiology, Dr. Luepker joined the Minnesota group and the community studies getting underway there, where he was a co-investigator and eventually P-I of the Minnesota Heart Survey (a community surveillance study still on-going after 28 years) and the Minnesota Heart Health Program, a major National Institutes of Health (NIH) research demonstration in health promotion.

Luepker extended these researches from the community into new interventions as randomized school interventions, in which he headed the national CATCH Study of youth health promotion. Subsequently he directed the national REACT program for response to heart symptoms. He is a central figure in cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemiology and prevention, serving on NIH Study Sections and Task Forces, as consultant to many of the major programs and studies in the field and as leader of national and international societies. He has made central contributions to methods, design, and concepts of surveys, surveillance, and interventions at both individual and population levels. From 1991 to 2003 he was Head of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health at Minnesota, building it into a diversified academic program of epidemiology and community health. He continues active there as Mayo Professor of Public Health and director of the Clinical Research Masters Program. (HB)


Henry Blackburn