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50 Years of Transforming Lives: The History and Future of Heart Transplant at Stanford

Stanford Historical Society 42nd Annual Members' Meeting


5:30 – 6:00PM | Annual Meeting (open to all)


6:10 – 7:30PM | Program and Q&A (open to all)


Members' Reception to Follow


In 1968, the very concept of transplanting a beating heart from one human to another seemed like science fiction.  A visionary Stanford cardiothoracic surgeon named Dr. Norman E. Shumway set about to change that; and in the process created the standard by which nearly 2,000 life-saving surgeries are performed annually today. However Shumway’s legacy is cemented not only for those three hours of surgery in January 1968, but in his team’s decades-long commitment to further transforming transplant protocols and the translational science to lower patient rejection and increase survival rate.


Led by Dr. Joseph Woo, the current chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford, this remarkable session will feature insights from several pioneering leaders in the field who were trainees on Dr. Shumway’s team, including one of the first females in cardiovascular medicine, the inventor of the first mechanical heart device, as well as Shumway’s partner in the first-ever heart-lung transplant. We will explore the impact of this historic innovation at Stanford on human health and the extraordinary new directions in cardiovascular medicine that Stanford is leading today. 


Joseph Woo, MD
Norman E. Shumway Professor
Chair, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Stanford University School of Medicine


Sharon Hunt, MD
Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Emerita
Stanford University School of Medicine


Phil Oyer, MD, PhD
Roy B. Cohn-Theodore A. Falasco Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery
Former Chair, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Stanford University School of Medicine


Bruce Reitz, MD
Norman E. Shumway Professor, Emeritus
Former Chair, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Stanford University School of Medicine