Dr. Paul Nan Gan Yu was a distinguished cardiologist who made significant contributions to the University of Rochester's Cardiology Unit, which he directed for twenty-five years. In 1946, Yu left his native China and went to London for medical studies. The following year he traveled to Rochester, New York to visit his wife, I Ling Tang, who was serving as a pediatric resident at the University of Rochester Medical Center. At the suggestion of William S. McCann, Rochester's Chair of Medicine at the time, Paul Yu spent the summer reading electrocardiograms, in order to earn some much-needed money to defray the costs of his trip and stay in Rochester. He became attracted to the institution, and was encouraged by Dr. McCann to return to Rochester after completing his fellowship in London. He joined the Cardiopulmonary Unit faculty in 1948. Thus began his extraordinary career as clinician, medical educator, researcher, leader in American Cardiology, and mentor and role model to hundreds of students and colleagues, extending until his retirement in 1982. Paul Yu's clinical skills were reported to be "almost magical." His patients were numerous, diverse, and widely dispersed across New York State and the nation, as well as in the Republic of China (Taiwan), and included Chiang Kai and his wife and son. His research contributions included studies of the pulmonary circulation and ventricular function in patients with a wide variety of heart diseases, as well as lead contributions to the study and care of patients with coronary artery disease and its complications. He led Rochester Cardiology to a position of national prominence, and played a lead role in local, state and national American HeartAssociation (AHA) affairs, including service as President of the national AHA in 1972-73. He was the recipient of its prestigious James B. Herrick Award for distinguished service to clinical cardiology.
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