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Wednesday, 29 November 2017, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

Half a Century of Heart Transplantation

Professor Martin Elliott, Sir Terence English KBE FRCS FRCP, Martin Barsby, Stephen Large


Download the lecture video here

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the first human heart transplant. This talk will celebrate that achievement and consider what we have learned over those 50 years and what is to happen in the future.

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Martin Elliott was Gresham Professor of Physic from 2014-2018. He is Co-Medical Director at The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London (GOSH). He led the cardiorespiratory and thoracic transplant teams at GOSH for many years, and established, and is Director of the National Service for Severe Tracheal Disease in Children, the largest such service in the world.

Professor Elliott studied at Newcastle University both as an undergraduate and a postgraduate, and also in the Universities of Southampton and London.  He was appointed a consultant paediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at GOSH in 1985 and has been Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UCL since 2004.

His research has covered several domains, including the pathophysiology of cardiopulmonary bypass (developing modified ultrafiltration, now used in most repairs of congenital heart disease (CHD)); the development and application of outcome registries in surgery for CHD (he developed the European Congenital Heart Defects Database, the forerunner of the EACTS and STS registries); the specification of the nomenclature for congenital heart defects (he was founding president of the International Nomenclature Society for CHD); the improvement of teamwork within cardiac care (consulting and working with Formula 1 teams, the airline and hotel industries); and most recently the management of severe tracheal disease in children, including the first homograft and stem cell-based transplantations of that organ in children.

Professor Elliott is passionate about improving the experience for patients and providing them with insight they and their families need to make informed choices.  At GOSH he leads on quality and safety, and GOSH has won several prizes for its work in this field.  He has given evidence to the Bristol and Francis Inquiries related to the importance of information provision for quality improvement.

He has published over 260 peer-reviewed articles and is in demand as a speaker, having delivered over 300 invited lectures worldwide, including 20 named lectures, to professional and lay audiences. He has taken part in several television documentaries. He reviews for many scientific journals and teaches and operates throughout the world.  He has trained many of the world’s leading paediatric cardiac surgeons and has been involved in service reform in several countries.

All of Professor Elliott's Gresham lectures can be accessed here.

[The image of Professor Elliott is used courtesy of Becan]

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Sir Terence English is a retired cardiac surgeon He now lives in Oxford but spent his professional life in Cambridge, where he was consultant cardiothoracic surgeon to Papworth and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals from 1972 to 1995.

He was born in South Africa in 1932. After school in Natal he spent a year as a diamond-driller in what was then known as Rhodesia. He then studied Mining Engineering at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, qualifying BSc in 1954. Having inherited a small legacy he decided he would be a better doctor than an engineer, and was accepted to read medicine at Guy’s Hospital in London.

Before starting medical school, he worked for 8 months in mining exploration in Canada and thereafter returned each summer for the next three years to augment his capital. He qualified from London University in 1962 and then embarked on training, first in general surgery and then in cardiothoracic surgery.

After being appointed to Papworth and Addenbrooke’s hospitals his main surgical interest became heart transplantation and he performed Britain’s first successful heart transplant in 1979. There had been three previous attempts in 1968 by Donald Ross but these were not successful and thereafter a moratorium had been placed on further attempts in the United Kingdom.

In 1980 Sir Terence was appointed Director of the British Heart Foundation Research Group at Papworth, and under his leadership the hospital achieved an international reputation for heart, and later, heart-lung and lung, transplantation. For this and other contributions to surgery he was made Knight Commander of the British Empire in 1991.

Sir Terence was elected President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England from 1989 to 1992, and President of the British Medical Association in 1995-1996. He became Master of St Catharine’s College in Cambridge (1993 – 2000) and was Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire from 1994 to 2001.

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Martin is the Communications Director for the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner.

He underwent a heart transplant in 1991.

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Stephen is a Consultant Surgeon at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge.

Stephen Large was appointed to Papworth Hospital in 1989 with a specialist interest in surgery for ventricular tachycardia. His early interest in medical student education led to a Cambridge University appointment as Associate Lecturer in the Department of Medicine and on to become clinical sub-dean for cardiac and thoracic services.

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