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In Memoriam: FAR mourns the loss and honors the extraordinary life of Aram Chobanian

Updated: Sep 5, 2023



With heavy hearts, we at FAR, bid farewell to a remarkable individual, Aram V. Chobanian, who was not only a world-renowned cardiologist but also our dear friend and an exceptional human being.

Dr. Aram Chobanian's journey began in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where he was raised within the close-knit Armenian immigrant community. Like many, he was inspired to pursue excellence in education. His path led him to Brown University, and from there, he earned his M.D. at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Chobanian's impact on the world of medicine was profound, as he played a pivotal role in establishing the link between hypertension and accelerated vascular disease, including atherosclerosis.

His illustrious career found its roots at Boston University and its renowned Medical School, where it flourished and blossomed into brilliance.

In 1973, he founded the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, overseeing its remarkable transformation into a hub for cutting-edge research in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Chobanian's legacy also included a leadership role in the merger of Boston City Hospital and Boston University Medical Center Hospital, resulting in the creation of Boston Medical Center. Last year, in September 2022, the School of Medicine at Boston University was renamed the Boston University Aram V. Chobanian & Edward Avedisian School of Medicine, a fitting tribute following a generous gift from his childhood friend, Edward Avedisian.

The obituary for Dr. Chobanian in the Boston Globe, despite its eloquence, could only offer a fleeting glimpse into the vast tapestry of achievements that defined this extraordinary man's life. Dr. Chobanian was a polymath, a rare individual graced with a multitude of talents, sent into this world to enrich the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing him. His boundless imagination soared to such heights that he even ventured into the realm of composing symphonies and operas, demonstrating the breadth of his creative spirit.

Fund for Armenian Relief had been fortunate to have Dr. Chobanian as one of our leaders, our mentors, one who spearheaded so many innovative approaches in support of our less privileged brothers and sisters in Armenia. His unwavering commitment to improving healthcare in Armenia led to his involvement in numerous FAR programs aimed at advancing undergraduate and graduate medical education and scientific initiatives in his homeland.

Between 1995 and the 2000s, he championed the establishment and growth of emergency medical care and training centers at the St. Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center, a vital contribution in postwar Armenia. Additionally, he chaired the International Advisory Board of Yerevan State Medical University, making the Boston University Medical School library accessible to YSMU students and contributing to the development of YSMU's curriculum.

He stood as an eminent figure within the Armenian Diaspora, recognizing the pressing need to bolster the scientific community in Armenia following the collapse of the Soviet system. Alongside luminaries such as Yervant Terzian, Vartan Gregorian, Edgar Housepian, Mihran Agbabian, and others he played a pivotal role in the inception of ANSEF, the Armenian National Science and Education Fund, in the year 2000. Over the course of more than two decades, Dr. Chobanian emerged as an unwavering champion and advocate for ANSEF. Thanks to his dedication, more than 1870 Armenian scientists, spanning three generations, found the means to remain at home and conduct pioneering research and development, rather than seeking opportunities on distant shores.

It is very painful that we lost an exceptional individual—a remarkable humanitarian, an indefatigable innovator in the realm of medicine and science, and concurrently, an innovative leader and manager. His uniqueness left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him. While his absence leaves a profound void, we are committed to preserving his legacy and ensuring that his tireless dedication to the very mission of FAR in supporting his less privileged fellow Armenians in the motherlkand endures. We, at FAR, will miss him dearly but will strive to honor his memory by carrying forward his legacy.

To the grieving family of Dr. Aram V. Chobanian, we extend our deepest and most heartfelt condolences during this challenging time.

May his soul find eternal serenity.

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