Departmental Highlights & News

Drs. Norman Shumway, left, and Donald C. Harrison meet the press after they perform the first adult human transplant in the United States in January 1968.

Stanford is able to leverage a series of "firsts," including the first heart transplant in the US, the first heart-lung transplant in the world, and one of the first left ventricular assist device (LVAD) procedures in the world. Stanford dominates the market in programs involving a high percentage of complex procedures. Several of Stanford's most successful cardiac programs have a broad geographical base, with over 20% of the volume for heart transplants, aorta and valve procedures coming from outside the Bay Area. Stanford also has a strong international cardiac market with cardiac patients representing more than 50% of overall international business. 

Dr. Bruce Reitz and his surgical team perform the world’s first successful combined adult human heart-lung transplant in 1981

CT surgeon John W. MacArthur performs 1,000th lung transplant

"This surgery went very smoothly, and the patient had a really good recovery," said MacArthur, who added that he loves doing this type of procedure because of the quick and dramatic improvement in his patients. "It’s challenging, but it’s very rewarding to see somebody who can’t breathe comfortably, or not well at all, go home and not need any supplemental oxygen."

Department research and clinical expertise showcased at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2019

At this year’s conference held in Philadelphia, PA, the Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was prominently featured in 20 talks and poster presentations, showcasing a diverse spectrum of the department’s clinical expertise and research accomplishments.

Dr. Mark Berry appointed to endowed professorship

Mark Berry, MD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery, was appointed the Mylavarapu Rogers Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery. The professorship was established with a gift from Swati Mylavarapu and Matt Rogers to support a faculty member in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Dr. Ioannis Karakikes's paper featured in Nature

Paper title: Activation of PDGF pathway links LMNA mutation to dilated cardiomyopathy

Karakikes and other researcher's findings suggest that the activation of the platelet-derived growth factor pathway contributes to the pathogenesis of Lamin A/C-related dilated cardiomyopathy and point to platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β as a potential therapeutic target.

Drs. Natalie Lui and Jeffrey Yang Receive Awards at the 2019 Western Thoracic Surgical Association Annual Meeting

Dr. Lui received the 2019 Donald B. Doty Educational Award, the purpose of which is to foster innovative educational initiatives in cardiothoracic surgery by WTSA members, and provide an opportunity for the dissemination of this information to other training centers and academic institutions.

Dr. Yang received the Norman E. Shumway Award, which is awarded to the presenting author of the best podium presentation at the annual meeting.

Dr. Craig Miller recognized at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, receives AATS Scientific Achievement Award

This award is one of the highest scientific recognition awards given by AATS, and recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary scientific contributions to the field of cardiothoracic surgery.

KGO TV: "The Heart of a Warrior: Saving Tom Tolbert"

Bay Area sports personality and former Golden State Warrior Tom Tolbert suffered an aortic dissection in 2017. The documentary shows how Stanford Hospital treated the life-threatening tear near his heart. Dr. Joseph Woo, Chair of the Dept. of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Dr. Jason Lee, Director of Endovascular Surgery, and Dr. David Liang, professor of cardiovascular medicine, are interviewed for the story.

Drs. Leah Backhus and Yuanjia Zhu receive TSF funding for cardiothoracic surgery grants

The Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF) has announced 24 new grants totaling $916,500 in support of research and education programs in cardiothoracic surgery. These grants will help advance treatment options for patients with heart and lung diseases and offer much-needed assistance to underserved patients in developing countries, including Kenya, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda.  

Dr. Leah Backhus chosen for Thoracic Surgery Residents' Association's 2019 McGoon Teaching Award

The Dr. Dwight C. McGoon Award is an award given annually by the TSRA to an outstanding young faculty member in cardiothoracic surgery in recognition of his or her commitment to resident education and mentorship. Each year, cardiothoracic surgery residents in North America are eligible to nominate a faculty member within the first ten years of their attendingship who has demonstrated a remarkable interest in resident training -- inside or outside of the operating room.