Eghtesady named inaugural Emerson Chair in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery

From left, St. Louis Children’s Hospital President Joan Magruder; Kim Eghtesady; Pirooz Eghtesady; Kathy Button Bell, Emerson’s vice president and chief marketing officer; and Timothy Eberlein celebrate following Eghtesady’s installation as the first Emerson Chair in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery.
(Credit: Mike Mccarty)

Pirooz Eghtesady, MD, PhD, has been named the first Emerson Chair in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

Eghtesady is a professor of surgery and of pediatrics and is chief of the section of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at the School of Medicine. He is also a co-director of The Heart Center at Children’s Hospital.

“Dr. Eghtesady brings a passion, technical skill and innovative approach to the school and the hospital that is truly impressive,” said Timothy Eberlein, MD, the Bixby Professor and Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at the School of Medicine. “Additionally, he is a compassionate communicator with children and families alike. Not only does he have world-class expertise in the management of complex congenital cardiac disease, he has become a leader in the field of patient safety and outcomes.”

The endowed chair was established with a gift from the Emerson Charitable Trust. Emerson has been a strong corporate supporter of St. Louis Children’s Hospital for decades.

“The continuing generosity of Emerson speaks to its leaders’ recognition of the life-changing work we do at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine,” said Brad W. Warner, MD, the Jessie L. Ternberg, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pediatric Surgery and surgeon-in-chief at Children’s. “Pirooz is an outstanding colleague and friend. He has a wonderful combination of compassion, drive, integrity and commitment to excellence.”

Said Eghtesady of the appointment: “It is a great honor to be named to the chair. The Emerson gift will allow us to continue our mission to make this a better world for children who need our help, one innovation at a time.”

Eghtesady’s clinical expertise is in the surgical management of complex congenital heart disease, cardiac and lung transplantation, and mechanical assist devices for both heart and lung failure.

He joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2011. His research focuses on the pathogenesis of congenital heart defects, particularly hypoplastic left heart syndrome; fetal cardiac intervention; and patient safety and risk prevention in the operating room.

He serves on several National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections, including bioengineering and technology, surgical sciences, and clinical integrative cardiovascular sciences.

He is a member of the American Heart Association working group, which writes guidelines for safety in the operating room. He also serves on the American Association of Thoracic Surgery scholarship committee.

Eghtesady received his medical degree and a doctorate in molecular biology and immunology in 1993 from the University of California, Los Angeles. He completed his residency in general surgery at Stanford University Hospital in 1998. He then was a resident in cardiothoracic surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, during which time he completed fellowships at the Broussais and Marie Lannelongue hospitals, both in Paris.

In 2001, he became a fellow in pediatric cardiac surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, and then Stanford University Hospital. He joined the faculty at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, where he eventually became director of the Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery.

While the Emerson Chair in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery is among Emerson’s most recent gifts, the company has championed the hospital’s ability to deliver the finest pediatric medical care for years.

In 2005, the Emerson Charitable Trust established the Emerson Fund for the Center for Congenital Heart Disease. This provides an annual income within the Children’s Discovery Institute to advance the search for causes of and more effective treatments for congenital heart disease in children.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.