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Kreisel named G. Alexander Patterson, MD/Mid-America Transplant Chair

Honored for innovation in lung transplantation

by Kristina SauerweinSeptember 25, 2018

Tim Parker

Daniel Kreisel, MD, PhD, a noted physician-scientist and the surgical director of lung transplantation at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, has been named the inaugural G. Alexander Patterson, MD/Mid-America Transplant Endowed Distinguished Chair in Lung Transplantation.

Kreisel, a professor of surgery and of pathology and immunology, was chosen for the honor for his decades of innovative research and technological developments in transplantation biology, as well as for his compassion in treating patients and caring for their families.

The endowed distinguished chair was established through a partnership between Mid-America Transplant, The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University’s Department of Surgery and Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery to honor world-renowned lung transplant surgeon G. Alexander Patterson, MD, the university’s Joseph C. Bancroft Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Kreisel was installed as chair by David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and the George and Carol Bauer Dean of the School of Medicine; Bob Cannon, president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and group president of BJC HealthCare; the School of Medicine’s Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, the Bixby Professor of Surgery and head of the Department of Surgery; and Ralph J. Damiano, Jr., MD, the Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery and head of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

The partnership with Mid-America Transplant, Cannon said, helps ensure continued excellence in research and patient care. “In addition to Mid-America Transplant’s generous donation, which supports the future of our program, our daily collaboration is why we have one of the world’s leading programs in solid organ transplant,” he said. “Our hospital team, organ procurement organizations and surgeons work closely together to provide our patients and their families with exceptional care during often challenging times.”

Kreisel is the ideal recipient of the inaugural endowed chair, which honors his mentor, Patterson, a trailblazer in surgical transplantation who has distinguished the School of Medicine as one of the best lung transplant centers in the world, Perlmutter said. “Like his mentor, Dr. Kreisel is very highly regarded for his surgical skills in organ transplantation and for his research involving immunological mechanisms of transplant rejection,” Perlmutter said. “He is dedicated to lessening the lung damage that about half of all lung transplant patients experience, particularly damage due to inflammatory cells. His determination to improve outcomes for patients drives his work and will continue to have a profound impact for transplant patients.”

Kreisel’s research focuses on mechanisms that contribute to inflammatory responses after lung and heart transplantation. Further, he aims to develop immunosuppressive drug therapies to extend the lifespans of lung transplant patients.

“At Mid-America Transplant, we work in a space between death and life,” said Diane Brockmeier, president and CEO of Mid-America Transplant, the organ procurement organization that provided the initial funding for the new chair. “We compassionately care for families of organ and tissue donors who entrust us with their loved one’s selflessness to save others, while at the same time working tirelessly for the recipients to give them the opportunity to live their best lives. We believe it is our responsibility to honor their gifts and sacrifices. Our decision to make the initiating gift for our first-ever endowed distinguished chair is to ensure that our community has world-class surgeons and physicians like Dr. Patterson and Dr. Kreisel working each day to save more lives.”

Patterson is known internationally for participating, in 1983, in the first-ever successful adult lung transplant in Toronto. He also helped to build the highly regarded lung transplant program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital (BJH), teaching surgical techniques and mentoring residents, fellows and young physicians.

“I would not be where I am today without Dr. Patterson’s mentorship in both research and patient care,” said Kreisel, scientific director of Washington University’s and BJH’s Transplant Center and a member of the faculty since 2006. “His work has had a lasting and substantial impact on solid organ transplantation. This endowed distinguished chair inspires me to advance the field he pioneered.”

Kreisel earned his medical degree in 1995 from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He then moved to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a doctoral degree in immunology in 2002 and completed his residency in general surgery in 2003. Kreisel then completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Washington University in 2005.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 1,300 faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is a leader in medical research, teaching and patient care, ranking among the top 10 medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Kristina covers pediatrics, surgery, medical education and student life. In 2020, she received a gold Robert G. Fenley Writing Award for general staff writing from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and in 2019, she received the silver award. Kristina is an author and former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Los Angeles Times, where she was part of a team of journalists that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for breaking news. Additionally, she covered the 2014 Ferguson unrest for TIME magazine and, for eight years, wrote a popular parenting column for