Cedars-Sinai Cardiologist Leads the American Socie | Newswise

Newswise — LOS ANGELES (July 1, 2024) — Jon Kobashigawa, MD, director of the Heart Transplant Program in the Department of Cardiology in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, has assumed the top volunteer leadership position of the American Society of Transplantation.

As of June, Kobashigawa became president of the society, leading an organization of more than 5,000 clinicians and other healthcare professionals who work in the field of organ transplantation. His responsibilities include working to ensure the organization fulfills its strategic vision of advancing the field of transplantation and improving patient care by promoting research, education, advocacy, organ donation and service to the community.

Kobashigawa will also represent the American Society of Transplantation in discussions with government agencies and policymakers about organ transplant legislation.

“Dr. Kobashigawa’s experience and passion make him the ideal person to serve as a national and international voice in all matters related to organ transplantation,” said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, executive director of the Smidt Heart Institute and the Mark S. Siegel Family Foundation Distinguished Professor. “He has already advanced this field greatly through his clinical work and scientific discoveries and continues to be a strong advocate for standardizing decisions and processes related to transplantation.”

Kobashigawa was instrumental in expanding the Comprehensive Transplant Program at Cedars-Sinai, one of the largest transplant programs in the world.

“Dr. Kobashigawa was instrumental in the development of our world-renowned medical and surgical program, known for changing the lives of patients previously told they were out of options,” said Christine Albert, MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Cardiology and the Lee and Harold Kapelovitz Distinguished Chair in Cardiology.

An expert in diagnosing heart failure, Kobashigawa also is director of the Advanced Heart Disease Division in the Smidt Heart Institute. He evaluates patients for heart transplants and medically manages their health before and after transplantation. Kobashigawa has been part of seminal research studies that have led to the use of novel therapies to prevent and treat organ rejection.  

In addition to his clinical and research expertise, Kobashigawa is known for developing standards for the field of transplantation. He has organized 17 national and international conferences that have led to guidelines on critical issues such as organ allocation, organ failure diagnosis and organ rejection.

Kobashigawa has held several leadership positions in transplantation organizations. He is a past president of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation and past chair of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Committee on Heart Failure and Transplantation. He also has served as a member of several United Network for Organ Sharing committees. He has published more than 480 peer-reviewed research publications and was recognized with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.

“It is an honor to lead the American Society of Transplantation, a prestigious organization with which I have long been involved,” said Kobashigawa, the DSL/Thomas D. Gordon Chair in Heart Transplantation Medicine at Cedars-Sinai. “I look forward to working with esteemed colleagues to advance transplantation policy, research and public education.”

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Transplant Saves Bishop at the Heart of His Community

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