Dr. Sir Magdi Yacoub: London, UK
Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub FRS, FRCS, FRCP(Hon), DSc (Hon), MCh (Hon), FACC was born and educated in Cairo where he qualified as a doctor in 1957. After qualifica tion, he did a spell as a houseman and then as registrar. In 1962, he came over to England to take up the post of surgical officer, and then surgical registrar at the London Chest Hospital. The following year he became Senior Surgical Registrar at the National Heart Hospital and Brompton Hospital where he worked for the next five years under Lord Brock and Donald Ross. After a year in America as Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Medical School, he returned to this coun- try to take up the position of Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at Harefield Hospital, a position which he still holds in addition to being Director of Medical Research and Education. Under his leadership, Harefield Hospital has become Britains’ leading transplant centre, performing over 200 heart transplants a year. He was also Consultant Cardiac Surgeon to the National Heart Hospital from 1973 to 1989 and in 1986 was appointed to be the first British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart & Lung Institute in association with the Royal Brompton Hospital. In 1995, the Institute became a Department of Imperial College School of Medicine.
Following retirement from the NHS in September 2001, Sir Magdi continues to head his research programme as Founder and Director of Research of the Magdi Yacoub Institute (formerly known as Harefield Research Foundation) and British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, in an academic capacity. In addition, at the beginning of 2002, Mr. Alan Milburn, MP appointed Sir Magdi as Sir Magdi Yacoub Special Envoy to the NHS in a National drive to recruit overseas qualified specialists in a new and innovative International Fellowship scheme.
As the Founder Patron of the global charity Chain of Hope, Prof. Yacoub devotes his boundless energy in pursuit of the mission he stated: “It is a little known fact that around 1 child in every 100 is born with a heart defect. Most of these defects can be corrected by operations which are performed as a matter of routine in the developed world. In contrast, if uncorrected these defects can cause considerable suffering and premature death. This afflicts a massive number of children around the world. Chain of Hope is dedicated to helping as many of these children as we can. This is accomplished by bringing children to the UK and also by sending volunteer teams to their countries in the longer to help develop local facilities. I feel privileged to be a link in the chain that helps these children”. In October, 2004, the Chain of Hope also established a new partnership with the Variety Children’s Lifeline for which Prof. Yacoub will lead pediatric cardiac missions to Mauritius, Kenya, Mozambique, Jamaica and Morocco.
Professor Yacoub is a pioneer in the field of heart and lung transplantation and one of the world’s leading cardiac surgeons‚. He carried out his first heart transplant operation at Harefield Hospital in 1980. Since then he has carried out hundreds of these operations; the 1,000th trans- plant at Harefield was undertaken by him in July 1989. Magdi Yacoub has specialised in working with children with congenital heart malformations and has done pioneering work on the “switch” operation. Sir Magdi’s other surgical interests include the homograft and pulmonary autograft aortic valve replacement, and the aortic root repair.
Sir Magdi Yacoub has made a remarkable contribution to heart and heart-lung transplantation not only as the surgeon who has performed more transplants than anybody else in the world, but as a scientist interested in the fundamental aspects of organ transplantation. In ten years, he has attracted approximately 80-90 colleagues who are closely involved with the clinical work of his department and are investigating physiological and disease processes at molecular and cellular levels. The Department is rapidly becoming one of the leading academic depart- ments of cardiothoracic surgery in the world.
Professor Yacoub is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians and Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. He holds honorary degrees from Brunel University, Cardiff University, The University of Loughborough, University of Middlesex and also from the University of Lund in Sweden. He holds honorary posts in Lahore, Pakistan and University of Siena, Italy. He has received many awards and distinctions including the Clement Prize Thomas Award of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1989. In 1999, he was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society and presented with the Lifetime Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to Medicine by the Right Hon. Frank Dobson, MP, Secretary of State for Health. In April 2004, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation.
The International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences is pleased to recognize Sir Magdi Yacoub for his extraordinary lifetime of achievements with the Academy’s Medal of Merit.