Famed Egyptian Mummy Doctor Named Director for Memorial Heart & Vascular Institute


Cardiologist Gregory Thomas, M.D., M.P.H., FACC, FASNC, has been named the new medical director for the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Memorial according to a release from the hospital. Dr. Thomas brings 25 years of clinical research and leadership experience to this position. He will oversee clinical and business operations of the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute (MHVI).

Dr. Thomas’ research accomplishments have included the development of a new type of stress test that combines exercise with a medication to simulate stress in those in whom extensive walking is challenging. His research contributions include 130 articles, abstracts, and a textbook.

He is perhaps best know as the co-leader of a joint US-Egyptian team that discovered that ancient Egyptian mummies had atherosclerosis. Last year, his team discovered that an ancient Egyptian princess who lived 3,500 years ago -- before King Tut and Moses -- had blockages of her heart arteries. This finding represents the first person in human history to be diagnosed with heart disease. The team’s work challenges the conventional wisdom that atherosclerosis is a disease of contemporary humans. The team’s findings have been reported globally and in the Journal of the American Medical Association. On behalf of the team’s work, he received the “Award of the First International Scientific Conference on Ancient Egyptian Culture” awarded by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and Cairo University.

Dr. Thomas plans to develop stronger philanthropic ties with the community and MHVI. Promoting and supporting innovative research and educating the next generation of physicians, nurses and other health professionals sets Long Beach Memorial apart from other hospitals. Philanthropy has been an honored tradition at MHVI, laying the foundation for its cutting edge care and research.

Dr. Thomas received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine, where he was a Regents Scholar and was named one of two Outstanding Seniors at the university. He earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, where he was also a Regent’s Scholar and received Alpha Omega Alpha honors and the Chancellor’s Public Service Award upon graduation. While in medical school, he studied at the University of California, Berkeley earning a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy. Postgraduate training included an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and fellowships in cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

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