His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, and the Religious and Executive Councils have learned with sorrow of the passing of Aram V. Chobanian, M.D., President Emeritus of Boston University, and previous Dean of Boston University School of Medicine, who died peacefully at home on August 31, 2023.
Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, on August 10, 1929, he grew up in the Armenian community and like many others, was encouraged to pursue and excel in education, as well as to participate in outside interests such as sports and music. Chobanian attended Brown University before earning his M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
A world-renowned cardiologist, Dr. Chobanian was principally responsible for establishing the connection between hypertension and accelerated vascular disease, including atherosclerosis. His research accomplishments propelled him into the leadership of the Joint National Commission on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, which developed the national health care guidelines for hypertension for the United States. Dr. Chobanian was recipient of the first Lifetime Achievement Award in Hypertension of the American Heart Association, the Modern Medicine Award for Distinguished Achievement, the American Heart Association Award of Merit, the NHLBI Freis Award, and the Massachusetts Medical Society Lifetime Achievement Award.
He had a long and storied career at Boston University and its Medical School, which he joined in 1962. He became the founding Director of the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute in 1973. From 1975-95, he also served as Director of the Hypertension Specialized Center of Research, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Chobanian was appointed University Professor and John I. Sandson Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences. He became Dean of the School of Medicine in 1988 and Provost of the Boston University Medical Campus in 1996. He served as President of the University from October 2003 to June 2005.
In September 2022, the School of Medicine at Boston University was renamed the Boston University Aram V. Chobanian & Edward Avedisian School of Medicine after a generous gift by Avedisian, his childhood friend. The gift supports scholarships, endowed faculty chairs, and cutting-edge research.
Dr. Chobanian was passionately dedicated to improving healthcare in Armenia and involved in several programs to advance undergraduate and graduate medical education and science programs. He was a past member of the board of directors of the Fund for Armenian Relief. For several years, he also chaired the International Advisory Board of Yerevan State Medical University. He was an elected Foreign Member of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and is a gold medal recipient from the President of Armenia.
Beyond these many accomplishments, he was first and foremost a family man. He was the husband of the late Jasmine Chobanian, father to his three children Karin Chobanian Torrice, Lisa Chobanian (Wolfgang Ramboeck), and Aram Chobanian, Jr. (Louise Hagopian Chobanian), and grandfather to Marc Torrice and Vanessa Torrice, M.D.
Visitation was held at St. Stephen’s Armenian Church (Watertown, Massachusetts) on Tuesday, September 5, and funeral services on Wednesday, September 6, followed by interment.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fund for Armenian Relief, the Aram V. Chobanian Assistant Professorship at Boston University Medical Center, or St. Stephen’s Armenian Church.
Archbishop Anoushavan and the Religious and Lay Councils extend their condolences to Dr. Chobanian’s family members and loved ones. May God illuminate his soul.