Dr. Kamalendu "Kanu" Chatterjee

  • Born: March 1, 1934
  • Died: March 4, 2015
  • Location: Coralville, Iowa

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service

2720 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240

Tel. (319) 338-1132

Tribute & Message From The Family

Dr. Kamalendu K. "Kanu" Chatterjee, 81, of Coralville, died Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City as a result of pancreatic cancer.

Services will be held at a later time in Colfax, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name can be directed to the University of Iowa Foundation for the Cardiovascular Fellowship Fund or the University of California, San Francisco Teaching Fellowship Endowment.

Kamalendu was born March 1, 1934 in Bangladesh, India. He completed medical school at RG Kar Medical School in Calcutta, India and went onto receive his cardiovascular and internal medicine education in England. He then moved to Los Angeles, CA and worked at Cedars Sinai for several years before taking a position with the University of California at San Francisco where he would have a career teaching and shaping the careers of many future cardiologists. In San Francisco, he married Docela "Docey" Edwards on May 9, 1975. From 2001-2009 he served as Director for the UCSF Chatterjee Center for Cardiac Research, named in his honor. In 2009, he and his wife Docey moved to Coralville when he would begin a career with the University of Iowa. While at UCSF he held the Ernest Gallo Chair and at UIHC held the first Kanu and Docey Edwards Chatterjee Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine.

His family includes his wife, "Docey;" son Suvendu Chatterjee and his wife, Geetanjali of Delaware and their son, Soumendu "Mithai;" siblings in India; Shephalika "Bulu" (Debesh) Chatterjee, Manjulika (Dali) Chatterjee, Shymalendu "Khokhon" (Mita) Chatterjee, Amalendu "Gyadosh" (Mita) Chatterjee and Malabika "Puntu" (Benoy) Chatterjee Das; Docey's siblings, David (Margo) Edwards, Dewey (Patricia) Edwards, Don (Darla) Edwards, Docey's sister-in-law, Margaret as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and in-laws, Dave and Doris Edwards, Dale Edwards and Dreda McGill.

Condolence & Memory Journal


You will forever be remembered. I am sure you still are caring for everybody in a better place and nicer place than earth. I can see you smiling, full of life with all those who surround you. You are with us in spirit, thoughts and in deed. I am so honored to have been in your team, helping others and at the same time learned the true compassion of caring for others. Thank you, Dr. Chatterjee for everything.

Posted by Virginia G. Scheidel - San Francisco, CA - Friend   January 28, 2016

Dr. Chatterjee is the best since I was his patient at ucsf he saved my life and removed
me from a med that was going to kill me back then when I visit him at ucsf I hope their
is another kanu chatterjee out their that cares for people like he did his memory lives on

Posted by paul peraino - Santa Rosa, CA - Acquaintance   January 27, 2016


I had the privilege of knowing Dr. Chatterjee at UCSF, where he was a legendary clinician and a wonderful teacher. He was the most compassionate person and taught in a very positive way. I was very sad to hear of his passing. He will be missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.

Posted by Sirisha Yarlagadda    April 01, 2015

When my wife was having heart difficulties and we had seen a multitude of physicians on the east coast, we were led to two of the best in their specialties at UCSF. Dr. Chatterjee always had time to speak with my wife or me promptly, with clarity and compassion. An office visit came to be more like visiting an old friend. He gave the world so much of himself, and he will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family.

Posted by Steve - Charleston, SC - Husband of patient   March 24, 2015

We were contemporaries and knew each other from our days in Calcutta , India. Met him again In London during the Membership exam. Afterwards when he was working as Dr. Aubrey Leatham's Pacemaker Registrar at the Tuting Bracnch of St. George's Hospital in London I used to spend time with him on many weekends-- I remember when he was at his type writer working on his paper there on post pacing T waves (The "T-wave Memory") .
Numerous students, Residents and Fellows were blessed having Kanu as their great teacher--the top notch ,down to earth , erudite scholar and trusted , dignified researcher with top quality original publications. I recall reading an interview of a very bright, modern, relatively young superb investigator cardiologist of modern times -- Eric Topol-- done by the editor of the American Journal of Cardiology,Bill Roberts who asked Eric "who , do you think was your mentor?" Eric replied-- ":Kanu Chatterjee......."--.I felt so happy and emotional.
When in the fall of 2013 Kanu informed me, rather casually, during one of our telephonic conversations of the malady that ultimately took him away from us--I could not keep my eyes dry-- later I used to call him more frequently and was saddened and at the same time delighted when he told me that he was going to Chicago to get the "Herrick Award"" -- the greatest award given by the American Heart Association honoring the great clinician in November 2014.
I miss him not only as a friend-- we have all been so proud of -- but also as a superior cardiologist with a brilliant mind who contributed enormously tobest quality teaching of clincal cardiology, thoughtful research and wonderful patient care. His grateful patients even contributed to building an ultra cardiology research lab dedicated in the name of Kanu Chatterjee several years ago.
Modern Cardiology world will ever remember the great doyen Dr. Kanu Chatterjee.

Posted by Sakti Mookherjee MD, FACC, FRCP - Syracuse, NY - Friend   March 21, 2015

He spoke with wisdom, his mind was brilliant, his appetite for knowledge insatiable, his skill at the cardiac physical exam unmatched, he taught with kindness, his acheivements immense, yet he always showed great respect to everyone. He was dearly loved by his fellows. I miss him deeply, and hope I can honor him by aspiring to emulate him in some small way. Thank you Dr Chatterjee for committing your life to teaching us the art and craft of cardiology. My deepest sympathies to Docey and all the family.

Posted by Ajay Eshcol - IA - Fellow   March 18, 2015

Kanu had a tremendous impact on an entire generation of physicians that he mentored at UCSF, and he will be sorely missed. No one who came in contact with him will ever forget his kind and insightful ways, his consummate physical exam skills, his extraordinary ability to arrive at a diagnosis simply by placing his hand on the carotid artery or the apical impulse, or his supportive teaching style (you were always "correct" and your answer was "excellent" even if you could only recall one of the five causes of a large R wave in V1).

The remarkable experience of being an intern on the CCU with Kanu as the attending physician played a major role in my deciding to pursue a career in cardiology. There are few individuals in our lives that have the ability to touch so many people. As was the case for many others, Kanu changed the trajectory of my career. I will always be grateful that I had the privilege to work with him, and I will never forget this wonderful man.

Posted by Bruce McAuley - Portola Valley, CA - House staff and colleague   March 17, 2015

Kanu was the most memorable teacher I ever encountered in my medical career.
He had clinical and diagnostic ability that was remarkable. He taught in the most positive, affirming way I ever saw. Even if we gave the wrong answer, he would say, "excellent!" and then give the correct answer. In this way, we were never humiliated and alway remembered exactly what he taught us. What a wonderful man he was. I was very sad to hear of his passing.

Posted by Susan Kritzik - Redwood City, CA - Intern and Resident at UCSF   March 17, 2015

So sorry to here of the loss of Dr. Chatterjee my dear friend.

Bill & Deborah Criswell

Posted by Bill Criswell - Orinda, CA - Friend   March 16, 2015

I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dr. Chatterjee. My condolences to Docey and family.
Dr. Chatterjee was the best cardiologist I have ever worked with - he was both brilliant and kind. He was compassionate and gave my patients outstanding care of their cardiac problems - they all loved him.
Despite being a world-renowned cardiologist, he was humble and approachable. He was kind to the medical students, residents, and fellows. Not once have I ever heard of him making any of them feel inadequate or embarrassed.
He will be missed by all.
Don C. Ng, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSF

Posted by Don Ng - San Francisco, CA - Colleague   March 16, 2015

A brilliant, kind, humble and exceptional person. He was well respected at UCSF and world wide. He will be surely missed.
My Uncle Pete, Mom and myself were all patients of Dr. Chatterjee. He literally saved my Uncle's life. For that I am most grateful.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
Renee RN, UCSF

Posted by Renee Salvemini - Daly City, CA   March 13, 2015

I was a student, resident, fellow, and Clinical faculty at UCSF since 1983. Dr. Chatterjee was a legendary teacher and role model; forever gracious and always a gentleman. I have a particular soft spot in my heart. I was assigned to take first call on the first day of internship, in the CCU; probably because I "knew my way around". But I didn't know enough to stay calm and hydrated. During morning CCU rounds, I had a vasovagal episode... Here I was lying on the floor of the CCU looking up at a ring of heads looking at me (Teresa Demarco on the right, Steve Kayser there...), thinking great, just great, my first day as an intern.... Then I heard those words, "he's very tachycardic"... Dr. Chatterjee had got down on his knee and checked me out. His compassion made it all okay. Well, the sky didn't fall, I did fine. I've related that anecdote to my subsequent students and housestaff to remind them that when all seem to be going wrong, it's okay, it'll be okay. I send my utmost appreciation and respect.

Posted by Stan Hui MD, AGAF - Millbrae, CA   March 13, 2015

I can never forget Kanu: a GREAT Cardiologist, a learned scholar, a kind, thorough and patient teacher, a wonderful friend who went out of his way to help. All who met him were impressed by his humanity, gentleness, and kindness. Kanu's death leaves a hole, but the memories of him abound. All my regards and love to Docie and family!

With gratitude and love,
Barry Massie, MD

Posted by Barry MAssie, MD - San Francisco, CA - fellow Cardiologist at UCSF   March 12, 2015

What a loss of such a wonderful doctor we will certainly miss you. May you rest in peace

Posted by stanley cleaner - Lincolln, California, CA - patient   March 11, 2015


When I contracted endocarditis--a dangerous heart infection--in 1994, a heart
valve replacement was urgently recommended. Uncertain of that course, my
husband made calls to numerous contacts, searching for "the best cardiologist
in America." One of them finally recommended that we contact Dr. Chatterjee in San Francisco, two hours from our home.

On my first visit, he turned the pages of my medical record, shook his head and said "you don't have the symptoms requiring a new valve." He then said four magic words we'll never forget" "No symptoms, no surgery." With that
encouragement, we travelled often and widely, opening an office in London and
visiting numerous cities and countrysides in the U.S. and Europe.

We visited Dr. Chatterjee twice a year for 20 years, always coming away with a good report and the usual "no symptoms" reminder. When Dr. Chatterjee
moved to Iowa, we even thravelled there for a checkup, and visited with him and his wonderful wife, Docey. Then, one night in 2013, while packing for a
cross-country trip, I was rushed to our local hospital with symptoms I had never had. By phone, Dr. Chatterjee confirmed that these were the long-expected messengers of surgery. And thanks to the meticulous skill of Dr. Vincent Gaudiani, my valve was repaired and my strength was fully restored.

We had been told more than once that Dr. Chatterjee was not just a doctor, but a God. We have always thought--and always will--that he was surely an
Angel of Mercy and an expert protector of those in need. May he rest in peace and be remembered forever.
--Florrie and Paul Kagan

Posted by Florence and Paul Kagan - Carmel, CA - Patient and friend   March 11, 2015

Kanu and I have been friends since our medical student days in Calcutta.After graduation and interneship, we lost contact until one day in 1965 he contacted me in London. Since 1972 we have been in contact on a regular basis and kept track of his brilliant achievements in the field of medical and clinical research.
Kanu and Docie visited us in Canada and my wife Anita and I visited them a few times in San Francisco. Docie- you will remember what a good time we had during those visits.
Kanu's contributions will be remembered for many decades to come and he will be quoted in the medical literatures for ever.
My wife and I considered ourselves privileged to have known him well and will miss him for as long as we live.
Docie- Our condolences to you and to Kanu's family members.
A brilliant man has departed but not his legacy. Biru & Anita

Posted by Bireswar Bose. - Edmonton.. Alberta. Canada - Friend   March 11, 2015

In 1988, I was told, incorrectly, that there was something wrong with my heart. My friend, Dr. Ken Sack, interceded and got me an appointment with Dr. Chatterjee, but it was two weeks away, as Dr. Chatterjee was out of town. He made himself available at 7:30 the first morning he was back in the office. I will never forget opening his outer door. He was sitting at his secretary's desk. He looked up at me for a brief moment and said, "There's nothing wrong with you. We'll do all the tests, but be assured, there's nothing wrong with you." He was, of course, right.
The other memory, even stronger, is of his hands on my chest when he was checking me. I have never felt a touch like that, either before or since. The closest I can come to describing it was like a butterfly.
I can only hope that when I die--having helped people for 40 years as a "nice" lawyer--some of those I was privileged to help might have thoughts of me anywhere near as frequent and positive as those I have held for Dr. Chatterjee for nearly 30 years.
May he rest in the peace he earned and deserves.

Posted by Barry Reder - San Francisco, CA - Patient   March 11, 2015


I am so saddened to hear of Kanu's passing. Someone who saved so many lives, and was such a pleasure to know.
I will never forget staying at your home in San Francisco, in 1991. Both of you showed all of us such a good time. I will never forget it. I also remember Kanu getting several phone calls through the night regarding patients. he always took these calls with such caring, and concern.
The world was a much better place with him in it.
My deepest sympathy to you. Losing a soulmate leaves a piece of our hearts missing till we meet them again in Heaven. Thinking of you, Ann

Posted by Ann Low - Northwood, IA - Friend   March 11, 2015

Full of compassion to his patients and others, indeed a noble and a kind-hearted man. May your footsteps be seen and remembered forever. Rest in peace, Dr. Chatterjee and thank you for everything!

Posted by Virginia G. Scheidel - San Francisco, CA - others   March 11, 2015

A kind and noble man...rest in peace, Dr. Chatterjee. You will always be remembered. Thank you for everything!

Posted by Virginia - San Francisco, CA - others   March 11, 2015

At the age of 88, our mother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure of which her doctor wanted to do an aortic valve replacement. My sister and I were concerned we would lose her during surgery. My very best friend who worked at UCSF told us to see Dr. Chatterjee. I remember sitting there in the room with him, telling him how my mother is very sharp, active and daily went to her senior citizen activities and loved to do her exercises. We told him how she was a good eater and loved to walk as far as she could. He listened to us so methodically and examined her. Then he sat quietly thinking and finally said, "I think she doesn't need a valve replacement and that we can keep her going with just medications of which I will prescribe". My mother had an amazing four more quality years of life. She passed away quietly and in no pain. Dr. Chatterjee, you were and are brilliant. Our family thanks you for letting us have our mother for those four more wonderful years. You are truly one of a kind and will be terribly missed by all. I will never forget you. I send my deep heartfelt condolences to his wife and family.

Posted by Millie Sheehy - San Francisco, CA - Patient's daughter   March 11, 2015

An exam with Dr Chatterjee was unlike one with any other doctor. His questions were quiet, patient as he learned my physical limitations. His hands were gentle as he listened to heart, lungs and my pulse at wrist and ankle. He diagnosed heart failure and prescribed medications that helped restore some of my heart's pumping capacity. Later I learned he made some of the discoveries that led to those drugs. Years before he treated me, he cared for my mother's heart failure, with an interesting side effect: when she returned to India for her annual visit, Calcutta doctors (who previously had ignored or misdiagnosed her) were over-eager to give her the best of care. I have heard that he could diagnose heart failure from across a crowded room. I hear that hundreds of doctors learned not only from his expertise but his gentle patient care. Hope they are passing the lesson on.

Posted by Basab K Basu - San Francisco, CA - Patient   March 10, 2015

Dr Chatterjee was a brilliant teacher who made the most complex subject easily understood and every class interesting. He was a special person and kind to all.

Posted by Kathy Rawlins - Student & collegur   March 10, 2015

Dr. Chatterjee was my cardiologist for 35 years. He was a remarkable human being and an outstanding doctor. He was that rare combination of healer and doctor, which is unusual. His calmness and serenity were contagious. I believe those qualities along with his outstanding skills created a healing environment of great benefit to all who were fortunate enough to be in his care. I extend my deepest sympathy to his family. ~Kristen King

Posted by Kristen King - San Francisco, CA - Patient   March 10, 2015

I worked with Dr. Chatterjee at UCSF, where he was a legendary clinician and teacher, known for his kindness and understanding. He will be missed by all.

Posted by Daniel Benton - Iowa City, IA - Former co-worker   March 09, 2015

A davastating news for all of us in Calcutta. I was one of his best friends in the medical college called R.G.Kar medical college as a graduate student for MB course during 1950 through 1955. He was a brilliant student with outstanding
academic achievements.
He was such a lovable person. His demise is great loss to the medical and cardiology fraternity across the globe.
I convey condolence to his wife and also his close colleagues in US.

Posted by Dr. Kamal Ba nerjee - Calcutta India - classmate in medical college Ind   March 09, 2015

Dr. Chatterjee was my cardiologist up until the time of his diagnosis. I so respected him, and could see the kindness and goodness that comprised his personality. He made me feel so at ease, as he could see I was nervous and afraid about my heart condition. A wonderful doctor.
I send my condolences to his family, and wish for peace for all of you.
Sharon L. Hanson

Posted by Sharon L.Hanson - Coralville, IA - patient   March 07, 2015

Family Album

KANU's class mates in medical college