A surgical innovator of the Department of Surgery’s world renowned Lung Transplant Program, Alec Patterson, MD, Joseph C. Bancroft Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, was appointed the new Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. He will begin his new role in January 2022.
The journal and its open access companion titles JTCVS Open and JTCVS Techniques presents original, peer-reviewed articles on diseases of the heart, great vessels, lungs and thorax with an emphasis on surgical interventions. JTCVS is the official publication of the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, where Patterson previously served as past president from 2009-2010.
Patterson’s prolific cardiothoracic surgery career began upon graduating from medical school in 1974 from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He went on to complete general surgery, vascular and thoracic surgery residencies in Canada and was a pulmonary medicine fellow at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
In 1982, Patterson joined the thoracic surgery faculty at the University of Toronto and became a critical figure in lung transplantation research. Led by his mentor Joel D. Cooper, FACS, Patterson was part of the team that performed the first successful long-term single-lung transplant in 1983. Three years later in 1986, the team performed the first successful long-term double-lung transplant. In 1988, they performed the first successful long-term double-lung transplant for cystic fibrosis.
In 1991, Cooper recruited Patterson to join the Washington University School of Medicine surgical faculty and direct one of the first lung transplant programs in the United States at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Since its establishment, Patterson has distinguished the program as one of the best in the world. Recently, the program has surpassed 1,900 lung transplants and has some of the best outcomes in the United States and wait times lower than the national average.
In 2018, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Mid-America Transplant and Washington University created a new endowed professorship honoring Patterson for his impact on the field of thoracic surgery. Daniel Kreisel, MD, PhD, is the inaugural recipient of the G. Alexander Patterson, MD/Mid-America Transplant Endowed Distinguished Chair in Lung Transplantation.
Patterson’s commitment to surgical education has translated to an immense catalog of research publications. Over the course of his career, he has authored 492 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 75 book chapters. Patterson has also served as a mentor to generations of thoracic surgery fellows at Washington University. In addition to his latest appointment, Patterson will serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery until the end of 2021. He previously served as Associate Editor of JTCVS as well as the American Journal of Lung Transplantation and Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.