John Alex Elefteriades MD
William W.L. Glenn Professor of Surgery (Section of Cardiac Surgery)
Departments & OrganizationsYale Medical Group
Heart & Vascular Center, Yale-New Haven Hospital
Office of Student ResearchCancer Center, YaleSurgery: Cardiac Surgery: Thoracic Aortic Disease, Yale Center for
Dr. John Elefteriades is the William W.L. Glenn Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of the Aortic Institute at Yale University and Yale New-Haven Hospital. He served as Chief of Cardiac Surgery from 1995 to 2011, when he became Founding Director of the Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven. He is among the most clinically active academic surgeons in the country.
Dr. Elefteriades graduated magna cum laude with a triple major in Physics, French and Psychology from Yale University. He received his MD degree from the Yale University School of Medicine. He trained at Yale in both general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery. After completing his training, he joined the faculty at the Yale University School of Medicine.
He performs all aspects of adult cardiac and thoracic surgery. He is a recognized authority in interventions for the failing left ventricle, including coronary artery bypass grafting, left ventricular aneurysmectomy, and artificial heart implantation. Dr. Elefteriades directs the Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, one of the nation's largest facilities for treatment of the dilated thoracic aorta. He conducts laboratory research in new techniques of heart transplantation. Among his research projects, he is working with Celera Diagnostics to identify the genetic mutations responsible for thoracic aortic aneurysms. Dr. Elefteriades research work into brain and spinal cord protection via hypothermia has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.
At his Aortic Institute, Dr. Elefteriades and his team have achieved many milestones in the understanding and treatment of aortic diseases, including: recognition of the genetic nature of thoracic aortic aneurysm, characterization of the natural history of thoracic aortic aneurysm, determination that physical and emotional stress can precipitate aortic dissection, identification of the role of MMPs in the pathogenesis of thoracic aortic aneurysms, determination of the appropriate size for surgical resection, and identification of the correspondence of mechanical deterioration of the aortic wall with clinical behavior. His team has also developed an “RNA Signature” blood test for aneurysm disease.
Dr. Elefteriades serves on multiple scientific advisory and editorial boards. He is a past President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Cardiology and member of the national Board of Governors of the College. Dr. Elefteriades is also past President of the International College of Angiology. He serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Cardiology, the Journal of Cardiac Surgery, and Cardiology. He is a member of the Thoracic Surgery Director's Association and has been named consistently in The Best Doctors in America. He is a frequently requested international lecturer, visiting professor and guest surgeon. He is the author of over 300 scientific publications on a wide range of cardiac and thoracic topics. He was selected as one of the ten best doctors in America by Men’s Health magazine. He has been featured in many dozens of print, radio, and television presentations. He has been awarded the Walter Bleifeld Memorial Award for Distinguished Contribution in Clinical Research in Cardiology, and the John B. Chang Research Achievement Award. In 2005 he was selected to deliver a lecture for the Leadership in Biomedicine Series at the Yale University School of Medicine. In 2006, he received the Socrates Award from the Thoracic Residents Association, Thoracic Surgery Directors' Association, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, recognizing exceptional achievement in teaching and mentorship of residents. In 2008 he was honored by the International Academy of Cardiology with a Distinguished Fellow Award. In 2011, he received the AHEPA award for Achievements in Medicine. In 2012, he was selected as one of six “Stars” to lecture at the Reunion of his Yale University undergraduate class.
Dr. Elefteriades was named the William W.L. Glenn Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery in 2006. This endowed chair honors the memory of Dr. Elefteriades’ mentor, Dr. Glenn. Dr. Elefteriades is the author of the books House Officer Guide to ICU Care (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Editions), Advanced Treatment Options for the Failing Left Ventricle, Diseases of the Aorta, Your Heart: The Owner's Guide, The Woman’s Heart Book, and Acute Aortic Disease, and Controversies in Diseases of the Aorta. Dr. Elefteriades recently published his first fiction work, the medical mystery/ethics thriller Transplant, which was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards as a best first novel. Dr. Elefteriades was featured in a documentary of the BBC Horizons television program for his innovative techniques applying deep hypothermia to surgery of the aortic arch. His hypothermia work has also been featured on the Italian RAI channel. His is featured again for hypothermia in a recently aired segment of the Science Channel’s acclaimed program Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.