Valluvan Jeevanandam, MD, appointed chief of cardiac and thoracic surgery at University of Chicago Medical Center

New cardiac surgery chief

Valluvan Jeevanandam, MD, appointed chief of cardiac and thoracic surgery at University of Chicago Medical Center

October 1, 1998

Valluvan Jeevanandam, MD, a nationally recognized leader in surgical treatment for heart failure, including heart transplantation, was appointed section chief of cardiac and thoracic surgery at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Jeevanandam, 38, comes to the University of Chicago from Temple University Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he served as surgical director of the cardiac transplant program--one of the two largest and most successful heart transplant programs in the United States--since 1992. Under his leadership, that transplant team became a leader in testing new approaches to transplant immunology and expanding the criteria for suitable donor hearts.

At Temple, Jeevanandam also served as principal investigator for clinical trials of left-ventricular-assist devices as a bridge to transplant or as a permanent treatment for heart failure, transmyocardial laser revascularization, and left-ventricular-reduction surgery for end-stage heart disease.

"We are genuinely excited to have recruited such a distinguished surgeon and scholar to lead this growing program," said Bruce Gewertz, MD, Dallas B. Phemister professor and chairman of the department of surgery at the University. "The only thing more startling than his achievements is that he has done all this in less than four decades."

The author of seven book chapters and more than 100 scientific articles--editor or reviewer for several surgical journals--Jeevanandam is frequently an invited speaker at international conferences on cardiac surgery and transplantation. At the same time, he has run an active laboratory research program, investigating the scientific underpinnings of new methods to improve heart function, preserve organs for transplant, and prevent transplant rejection.

Born in 1960 in Tuticorin, India, Jeevanandam earned his AB in biochemistry summa cum laude from Columbia University in New York at age 19. He received his MD from Columbia, at 23, winning the medical school's overall Rudin Achievement Award, as well as the Janeway Prize for Excellence in Medicine, the Whipple Prize for Excellence in Surgery, and the J. Rudin Award for Achievement in Physiology. He then completed his surgical residency, a research fellowship in transplantation, and a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship--all at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Jeevanandam taught at Temple University from 1992 until this year, becoming surgical director of Temple University Hospital's cardiomyopathy and transplantation program, as well as program director at Lower Bucks Hospital's cardiac and thoracic surgery department.