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Holman 17

Professor Emeritus

Areas of Interest
adult cardiac surgery, surgery for heart failure, mechanical circulatory support and surgery for heart failure, surgical education


Dr. Holman trained in general and cardiothoracic surgery at Duke University under Dr. David Sabiston. During his residency, he performed research in the laboratory of Dr. James Cox. Dr. Holman was an instructor in cardiac surgery at UAB under Dr. Albert Pacifico and joined the faculty in 1988. Since that time, Dr. Holman has performed adult cardiothoracic operations at UAB and the Birmingham VA Medical Center. In addition, he worked in several areas of research including cardiac arrhythmias, ischemia-reperfusion injury and outcomes analysis for patients with heart assist devices. He has been awarded grants from the NIH, American Heart Association (including an Established Investigator award), VA, and industry. He has been a member of NIH and VA study sections and currently reviews grants for the American Heart Association.

When Dr. Holman began work at UAB, he started the ventricular assist device program. He has been the local principal investigator for numerous FDA Investigational New Device trials of ventricular assist devices. He has been a member or chair of several data safety monitoring boards for new surgical devices.

In 2007, Dr. Holman expanded his involvement at the Birmingham VA Medical Center to become the chief of surgical services. He has been involved in the expansion of existing services and the establishment of new services at the VA. Advances in the VA clinical programs culminated in promotion of the Birmingham VA Medical Center from a 1B to a 1A facility in 2014.

Dr. Holman’s clinical interests include adult cardiac surgery (coronary artery bypass grafting and heart valve surgery) and surgery for heart failure (mechanical circulatory support devices). His research interests include topics in mechanical circulatory support and surgery for heart failure. He also has interests in surgical education and myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury (heart attacks). Dr. Holman participated in the training of five NIH funded resident researchers and numerous clinical trainees in cardiothoracic surgery.

In 2023, Dr. Holman retired from clinical surgery and was appointed UAB Professor Emeritus in Surgery.

Selected Publications

Goldman S, McCarren M, Sethi GK, Holman WL, Bakaeen FG, Wagner TH, Wang Y, Shih MC, Edson R; CSP #474 Investigators. Long-Term Mortality Follow-Up of Radial Artery Versus Saphenous Vein in Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: A Multicenter, Randomized Trial. Circulation. 2022 Oct 25;146(17):1323-1325. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.122.062343. Epub 2022 Oct 24. PMID: 3627941

Holman WL, Timpa J, Kirklin JK: Origins and evolution of extracorporeal circulation: JACC historical breakthroughs in perspective. JACC 79:1606-1622, 2022.

Honors and Awards

Joseph Donald Historical Lecturer, Southern Surgical Association (2024)

Editorial Board of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (2022)


Medical School
Cornell University Medical College

Duke University Medical Center
General Surgery

Duke University Medical Center
Research Fellow

Duke University Medical Center
General and Thoracic Surgery

Contact Information

Academic Office: 205-934-3853

Campus Address
Zeigler Research Building, 719