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Smidt Heart Institute Surgeons Available for Interviews During AATS Annual Meeting

Experts Are Available for Interviews About Heart and Lung Surgery Innovations, Many of Which Were Pioneered at the Smidt Heart Institute


Throughout the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Annual Meeting, taking place May 6-9 in Los Angeles, experts from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai will be available to discuss advances and innovations in cardiothoracic surgery.

Based in Los Angeles, the Smidt Heart Institute is ranked #1 in California and #3 in the nation for Cardiology & Heart Surgery in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2022-23.”

Many of the advances to be discussed throughout the conference—such as minimally invasive lung transplantation, robotic lung transplantation and minimally invasive options for complex and high-risk structural heart disease—were pioneered by physicians at the Smidt Heart Institute.  

“Over the past five years, our transplant teams performed more adult heart transplants than any other medical institution in the nation—603 in all,” said Joanna Chikwe, MD, chair of the Department of Cardiac Surgery and the Irina and George Schaeffer Distinguished Chair in Cardiac Surgery. “We have remained the largest heart transplant program in the U.S.—a designation we’ve held since 2010.”


Smidt Heart Institute surgeons are participating in dozens of scientific sessions. Speakers and presentations include:

  • The Changing Landscape of Mechanical Support, Organ Recovery, and Transplantation: The Promise and Challenges of Machine Perfusion. Speaker: Pedro Catarino, MD, director of Aortic Surgery
  • Cardiac Clinical Trials: Comparing Effectiveness of MV Surgery and TEER in DMR: PRIMARY. Speaker: Joanna Chikwe, MD, professor of Cardiac Surgery
  • Seeing Is Believing: Unique Cardiac Case Videos: Sutured Patch Repair of Ischemic Left Ventricular Free Wall Rupture. Speaker: Dominic Emerson, MD, associate surgical director of Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support and surgical co-director of the Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit
  • Controversies in Valve and Complex: National Experience with Pediatric Surgical Aortic Valve Repair—A Pediatric Health Information System Analysis. Speaker: Richard Kim, MD, director of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Surgery
  • Transplant Masterclass: It’s Complicated: Minimally Invasive Lung Transplant Techniques and Outcomes. Speaker: Dominick Megna, MD, surgical director of the Lung Transplant Program and surgical co-director of the Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit
  • Future in Thoracic Surgery: Prediction of Tumor PD-L1 Expression in Resectable Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer by Machine Learning Models Based on Clinical and Radiological Features: Performance Comparison With Preoperative Biopsy. Speaker: Harmik Soukiasian, MD, director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and associate director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program


Interviews can be conducted in person at the conference or can be done virtually through Zoom, FaceTime and Skype.


Cara Martinez | 310-562-7821 | Cara.Martinez@cshs.org.

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