Boineau, professor of surgery, 78

John P. Boineau, MD, professor of surgery, of medicine and of biomedical engineering, died Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital after a long battle with leukemia. He was 78.

Boineau was a pioneer in surgical treatment of Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition that can lead to episodes of rapid heart rate, and atrial fibrillation, a condition where the heart rhythm is irregular and too fast, including the development of the Cox-Maze procedure.

He joined the Washington University School of Medicine faculty in 1984 as a professor of surgery and of medicine and co-director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Research laboratories. In addition, he was director of the Department of Medicine’s Pacemaker Center and Outpatient Pacemaker Services and medical director of cardiac rehabilitation at the Heart Care Institute at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.


“John Boineau made innumerable contributions to the Division of Cardiology during his 27 years at Washington University,” says Douglas Mann, MD, the Tobias and Hortense Lewin Professor of Medicine, chief of the cardiovascular division at the School of Medicine and cardiologist-in-chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “His understanding of the field of electrocardiography was recognized nationally and internationally, and his book on the electrocardiogram in ischemic heart disease has become a classic in the field. His commitment to scholarship and teaching was relentless.”

Victoria Fraser MD, the J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine, interim chairman of the Department of Medicine and co-director of the infectious diseases division, says Boineau’s research contributions impacted the fields of cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology and biomedical engineering.

“He was a kind and gentle scholar with a passion for teaching, patient care and scientific discovery,” she says. “While dealing with a difficult illness, he remained optimistic and committed to his work. He displayed tremendous grace and dignity throughout his career and he has been a wonderful teacher and mentor to many students and housestaff over the past three decades.”

Boineau earned a medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and completed a residency at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He returned to Duke for a fellowship in adult and pediatric cardiovascular disease, then joined the faculty at Duke until 1972. Prior to joining the Washington University faculty, Boineau was on the faculties at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and the Medical College of Georgia.

Boineau was the author of The ECG in Multiple Myocardial Infarction and the Progression of Ischemic Heart Disease, published in 2005.

He is survived by his wife, Wanda, a cardiology diagnostic technician in the cardiovascular division; and three children: Bill, of Snowmass Village, Colo.; Robin Boineau Shima, MD, of Washington, D.C.; and Denise Boineau Utset, of Tallahassee, Fla.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 at Lupton Chapel, 7233 Delmar Ave., St. Louis, MO 63130. Memorial contributions may be made to the Washington University Division of Cardiology, Campus Box 8086, 660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63110, or to the Saint Louis Symphony.

In addition, a memorial tribute will be held at 4 p.m. Nov. 21 in Seminar Room B on the third floor of the Eric P. Newman Education Center.