Joseph A. Dearani, MD
The American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Joseph A. Dearani is now Chair of the Board of Directors. Dr. Dearani, a congenital cardiac surgeon from the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), will serve a two-year term as Chair until 2024. Before becoming the Chair, Dr. Dearani served on the ABTS first as a Director (2013-2019) and then most recently as the Vice Chair (2019-2022).
Dr. Joseph Dearani was Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Mayo Clinic and Professor of Surgery in the Mayo College of Medicine from January 2011-January 2020. He grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut and completed his undergraduate education at Fordham University in New York City (BA Biology and Spanish). He attended Medical School at Georgetown University (graduated AOA) and then did his General Surgery residency at Georgetown University Medical Center. During that interval, he spent two years as a surgical research fellow at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He completed his Thoracic Surgery residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota followed by a Congenital Cardiac Surgery fellowship at Loma Linda University. He returned to the Mayo Clinic to join the staff in 1997 where he is currently Professor of Surgery and the Sheikh Zayed Professor of Cardiovascular Diseases.
His primary clinical interest includes pediatric and adult congenital heart surgery. He has specific expertise with Ebstein’s anomaly, valve repair, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, robotic heart surgery, multi-redo cardiac surgery, and transplantation for congenital heart disease. He is the author or co-author of approximately 650 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 43 book chapters. His research interests include innovative valve repair techniques, heart failure and regenerative medicine (stem cell) therapies in congenital heart disease.
Leadership experience includes President of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society as well as the Thoracic Surgery Foundation.
In addition to his busy clinical practice he has been devoted to humanitarian outreach activities in pediatric cardiovascular surgery since 1996. He was Medical Director of Children’s Heartlink a prominent Non-Government Organization devoted to charitable outreach activities in pediatric cardiovascular disease. He has helped develop programs in India, China, Brazil, and Colombia.
He has been married to his wife, Ann, for 30 years and has three children, Michael, Grace, and Patrick. He is the oldest of 9 children with 8 younger sisters. Hobbies include music; he plays tenor saxophone in multiple bands and has played nationally and internationally and has recorded multiple albums. He enjoys writing and is currently completing a book on leadership and mentorship.