The James K. Kirklin Endowed Visiting Professorship in Cardiothoracic Surgical Sciences honors UAB Professor of Surgery and former Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Director James K. Kirklin, M.D., and gives cardiothoracic surgeons and scientists from all over the country the opportunity to share their unique expertise with the department's faculty and trainees as visiting professors.

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About James K. Kirklin

James K. Kirklin, M.D., is a professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and currently holds the James K. Kirklin Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery at UAB. Dr. Kirklin has formerly held the John W. Kirklin Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery, as well as the UAB Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Surgical Research.

Dr. James K. KirklinDr. James K. Kirklin

Dr. Kirklin served as director of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery from 2006-2016. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1969 and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1973 as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. After completing general and cardiothoracic surgery residencies at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1979, he pursued additional training at Boston Children’s Hospital and UAB. Dr. Kirklin was appointed assistant professor of surgery at UAB in 1981, director of cardiac transplantation in 1986 and professor of surgery in 1987. Consistently cited in “Best Doctors in America,” Dr. Kirklin’s clinical interests focus on surgery for pediatric and adult congenital heart disease, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support.

Dr. Kirklin’s many research interests involve cardiac transplantation, mechanical circulatory support and outcomes research in cardiac surgery. Dr. Kirklin and his colleagues at UAB established the Cardiac Transplant Research Database in 1990, which generated the first multi-institutional collaborative research in heart transplantation, producing numerous seminal publications over a 20-year span. In 1993, Kirklin and his UAB research group initiated the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study Group, which continues to lead the field in multiinstitutional studies. Currently Dr. Kirklin is the principal investigator of the $15-million, NIH-sponsored national Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS). UAB established the James and John Kirklin Institute for Research in Surgical Outcomes in 2016 to honor both Dr. James K. Kirklin and Dr. John W Kirklin.

Dr. Kirklin is the past president of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and is a member of numerous academic societies. He served as editor of the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation from 2000-2009, and he is principal editor of the ISHLT Monograph Series, in which nine books to date have been published. He was first author on the premier textbook, Heart Transplantation, and co-author of the fourth edition of the Cardiac Surgery textbook. He has authored more than 500 scientific publications. In 2014, he was the first recipient of the ISHLT Distinguished Educator Award.