2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient


James K. Kirklin, MD

James K. KirklinJames K. Kirklin, MD, a cardiac surgeon who has made significant scientific and surgical contributions in the fields of heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support devices, was named an ISHLT 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Dr. Kirklin has had a long and distinguished career focused on cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support in the treatment of advanced heart failure in pediatric and adult patients, as well as surgical repair of congenital cardiac defects. Among his many achievements, Dr. Kirklin was the first surgeon to bridge an infant with single ventricle to successful heart transplantation using the Berlin Heart VAD. He also led the surgical team that implanted the Berlin Heart on the youngest baby at that time ( 17 days old) to receive extended mechanical support (136 days) to successful heart transplantation. He holds the James K. Kirklin Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery at UAB, formerly the John W. Kirklin Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery, named for his father who was also a pioneer in cardiovascular surgery.

Dr. Kirklin served the Society as ISHLT President from 2009-2010. He received the ISHLT Lifetime Achievement Award on April 24, 2021 at the ISHLT 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions, the Society's first fully virtual meeting.

Watch a quick video honoring Jim Kirklin, MD, on the ISHLT YouTube channel.