ISHLT to recognize transplant pioneer Dr. Magdi Yacoub with lifetime achievement award

04/15/04

The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) recognizes renowned surgeon and transplant pioneer, Sir Magdi Habib Yacoub, for his clinical practice, research and education efforts with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award during the organization's Annual Meeting, April 21–24 in San Francisco. Dr. Yacoub has devoted himself to the field of heart and lung transplantation for nearly 40 years.

In addition to receiving the award, Dr. Yacoub will present "Heart and Lung Transplant: The Future World Perspective" at 6:35 p.m. during the Satellite Symposium 8 (Imperial A) on Wednesday, April 21.

Most recently, Dr. Yacoub has been a visionary in the study of heart recovery using support devices. He has developed a new approach for patients with heart failure that could take some patients off transplant lists and put them back on the road to active lifestyles. Using a cocktail of drugs and implantable heart pumps, the enlarged and overworked heart has a chance to rest while drugs help repair the damaged organ. This approach has broadened the usage of heart assist devices beyond keeping patients alive until a transplant becomes available. With Dr. Yacoub's studies, the concept of "bridge to recovery" is taking hold. Several abstracts, including Dr. Yacoub's research, will be presented at the ISHLT Annual Meeting. (Complete Meeting program and abstracts available at www.ishlt.org. See April 22, Concurrent Session 5: Mechanical Circulatory Support, Abstracts #30 – #35.)

The ISHLT's Lifetime Achievement Award has only been awarded twice previously in the Society's 24-year history. In Dr. Yacoub's case, the award recognizes a distinguished career of notable and varied contributions. Soon after becoming a doctor in his native Cairo, Egypt, he went on to practice in Great Britain where he specialized in treating children with congenital heart malformations. He developed the "switch" operation to help cure babies born with the life-threatening condition of the main heart vessels being connected backwards.

About Sir Magdi Habib Yacoub

In 1980, he conducted his first successful heart transplant at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex, England. Three years later, he performed the first heart-lung transplant. Today, he is known for having performed more heart transplants than any other physician in the world.

The same year of his successful transplant surgery, he established the heart transplant program at Harefield Hospital that was to become the largest transplant program in the United Kingdom and one of the largest in the world. He subsequently developed both heart-lung and lung transplant programs. More recently, he established a Mechanical Circulatory Support program at Harefield.

Throughout his career, Dr. Yacoub has been active in both clinical and basic research. He has published extensively and has more than 600 Medline citations. He is now the Director of Research at the Harefield Research Foundation. He also founded The Chain of Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to introducing routine life-saving treatment to countries with no cardiac facilities.

Dr. Yacoub has received numerous honors, including being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of England for his service in the field of cardiac surgery and his scientific contribution has been recognized by the Fellowship of the Royal Society of London.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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