News | January 22, 2010

Cedars-Sinai Creates Largest Heart Transplant Program

January 22, 2010 - The California Heart Center, the cardiology group that developed the nation’s largest heart transplant program, has joined the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

The California Heart Center physicians are moving from UCLA to assume leadership roles at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. Their group, which will remain in private practice, will also become part of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Care Foundation.

The group is led by Jon Kobashigawa, M.D., a past president of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation who has authored more than 200 scientific manuscripts. Kobashigawa also leads a number of major multinational clinical research studies. His past medical studies have resulted in groundbreaking medical protocols, such as customized anti-rejection medications for transplant patients.

At the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Dr. Kobashigawa will serve as director of heart transplantation, director of advanced heart disease and as the institute’s associate director for clinical affairs.

“What attracted us was not only Cedars-Sinai’s long-standing strengths in heart-related patient care and research, but the vision and leadership of Heart Institute Director Eduardo Marbán and his colleagues,” Dr. Kobashigawa said. “Over the last several years, it’s become clear that the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is on a trajectory to become one of the world’s leading cardiovascular programs, having attracted several of the nation’s top heart physicians and researchers.”

Dr. Kobashigawa’s colleagues at the California Heart Center also will have key roles in the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute include Jaime Moriguchi, M.D., medical director, mechanical circulatory support program; Michele Hamilton, M.D., director, heart failure program; Antoine Hage, M.D., director, solid organ transplant cardiology; Jignesh Patel, M.D., Ph.D., co-medical director, heart transplant program; and Michelle Kittleson, M.D., Ph.D., director, post-graduate education in heart failure and transplantation.

An additional member of the group, Babak Azarbal, M.D., practices interventional cardiology with a focus on heart failure patients. Azarbal was chief resident during his internal medicine training at Cedars-Sinai.

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