Merrill Overturf, Ph.D.
The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Dr. Overturf was trained at the University of Iowa. He was recruited from the University of Iowa, Department of Internal Medicine to the Department of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 1972.
Dr. Overturf received continuous NIH support from 1971 to 2006 as a principal investigator. His early interests were defining the renin-angiotensin-adosterone axis. In this regard he was the first to purifiy and characterize human angiotensin converting enyme, and to establish that there were three isozyme of H-ACE. Next he purified human renin using specific inhibitors and affinity chromatography. After investigating potential naturally occurring renin inhbitors, mainly complex lipids, he turned his attention to studying mechanisms of atherosclerosis resistant rabbits. To accomplish this he developed a unique strain of NZW cholesterol-resistant rabbits to serve as a model and registered them as NZW/CRT/MLO. Upon finding that the cholesterol-7a-hydroxylase promoter was intimately involed with determing plasma cholesterol levels he and his associate patented it for the University of Texas.
Dr. Oveturf if the author of 58 original, 55 abstracts,4 book chapters and several review articles. He has served on nearly all of the standing committees at the medical school, and has been heavily involved in medical student teaching.