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Innovation and Leadership Are Behind World-Class Lung Transplant Program

The Lung Transplant Program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine reached an impressive milestone with the completion of 103 lung transplants during 2019.  The pioneering program has carried out more than 1,800 life-saving lung transplants in its three-decades-long history.

The strength of the lung transplant program is made possible through innovation and research under the leadership of Daniel Kreisel, MD, PhD, surgical director of the Lung Transplant Program and the G. Alexander Patterson, MD / Mid-America Transplant Endowed Distinguished Chair in Lung Transplantation. The chair was established at The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2018.

“Dr. Kreisel is very highly regarded for his surgical skills in organ transplantation and for his research involving immunological mechanisms of transplant rejections,” said David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and the George and Carol Bauer Dean of the School of Medicine. “His determination to improve outcomes for patients drives his work and will continue to have profound impact for transplant patients.”

Over the years, Dr. Kreisel has built a reputation as one the nation’s top surgeon-scientists in the field of lung transplantation. He has helped grow the lung transplant program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital by increasing the number of transplantation surgeries and successfully treating patients with highly complex needs. His research supports these successful outcomes, focusing on mechanisms that contribute to the dangerous inflammatory responses that can occur after lung and heart transplantations. Further, Dr. Kreisel is working to develop immunosuppressive drug therapies with the aim to extend the lifespan of lung transplant patients. He is also advancing research into organ rejection issues and exploring the use of marginal organs to broaden critical access to transplantation.

Timothy Eberlein, MD, FACS, director, Siteman Cancer Center and chairman, Department of Surgery, describes Dr. Kreisel as a gifted researcher who has accomplished the difficult task of building a bridge between basic science and clinical medicine. “If anyone is going to figure out the immunology for chronic rejection, it’s going to be Dan Kreisel,” he says.

Through his leadership and the resources made possible through the 2018 establishment of the endowed distinguished chair in lung transplantation at the Foundation, Dr. Kreisel continues elevating scientific and clinical innovation that is changing the landscape of lung transplantation and saving more lives every day.

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