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John Ikonomidis

John S. Ikonomidis, M.D, Ph.D., will become the new chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UNC on March 1.

Dr. Ikonomidis, a cardiac surgeon, is Horace G. Smithy professor of surgery and chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, SC. He earned his M.D. in 1989 from the University of Toronto, where he also completed a Ph.D. in cardiac physiology in 1995 and a General Surgery residency in 1997. His cardiothoracic surgery residency was at Stanford University, where he finished in June 2000 and then joined the MUSC faculty. From 2000 to 2009, he served as chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston. In 2006, he became surgical director of the MUSC Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program. In 2009, he was named chief of the MUSC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and program director for its resident training program. He is also co-director of the MUSC Center for Heart Valve Disease and co-director of the MUSC Heart and Vascular Service Line. His clinical interests include thoracic aortic surgery, transcatheter aortic valves, and cardiopulmonary transplantation.

Dr. Ikonomidis’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2001, and he has served as a co-investigator on several VA Merit awards. He is an author of more than 140 medical journal articles. His research interests include the study of a unique murine model of thoracic aortic aneurysms as well as studies in clinical aneurysm specimens. He has served as PI or investigator on clinical trials involving heart valve devices, ventricular assist devices, myocardial protection, and intraoperative interrogation of the myocardium. From 2015 to 2017, he is serving as chair of NIH’s Bioengineering, Technology and Surgical Sciences (BTSS) Study Section, which reviews applications for millions of dollars in research grants, and is on the Data and Safety Monitoring Board of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American College of Surgeons, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology. He is chair of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Workforce on Cardiac Surgery and the Joint Council for Thoracic Surgical Education Integrated Six Year Cardiothoracic Surgery Program Analysis Committee. He is on the editorial boards of the six medical journals and is associate editor of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. He has received awards for his commitment to medical education.

He is a member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Western Thoracic Surgical Association, the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, and the American Surgical Association.

Dr. Ikonomidis succeeds Andy C. Kiser, M.D., as chief; Dr. Kiser left UNC earlier this year to become chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery at East Carolina University.