John Alex Elefteriades MD

William W. L. Glenn Professor of Surgery (Section of Cardiac Surgery)

Biographical Info

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.


International Activity

  • Tokyo, Japan   (2004)
    Invited faculty, “Thoracic aortic aneurysm: Reading the enemy’s playbook” 32nd Meeting of the Japanese Vascular Society
  • Athens, Greece   (2003 - 2003)
    Invited Lecture, “Thoracic aortic aneurysm – a genetic disease,” 18th International Meeting on Clinical Cardiology
  • Vienna, Austria   (2003 - 2003)
    Invited faculty, 3rd Vienna Interdisciplinary Symposium on Aortic Repair (VISAR) “Natural history of aortic aneurysms” & Chair “ Surgery for Type B Dissection”
  • Milan, Italy   (2003)
    Invited lectures, “When surgery has to be advised?” & “Alternative surgical approaches for left ventricle assist devices implantation,” Instituto Clinico Humanitas’ 4th International Symposium: From Risk Factors to Heart Failure
  • Athens, Greece   (2002 - 2002)
    Invited faculty,17th International Meeting on Clinical Cardiology
  • Milan, Italy   (2002 - 2002)
    Invited Lectures: “Who should have traditional cardiac surgery?” & “CABG better than PTCA?” 3rd International Symposium: Current Issues in Heart Failure Management
  • Paris, France   (2002)
    Invited Lecture, International Vascular Meeting, “The natural history of aortic dissection”
  • Paris, France   (2002 - 2002)
    Invited Faculty, Surgery for Aortic Dissection Symposium
  • Chairman
    Washington, United States   (2002 - 2002)
    Section of Cardiovascular Surgery, 8th World Congress on Heart Failure – Mechanisms and Management
  • Washington, United States   (2002 - 2002)
    Chairman, Valvular Heart Disease Session, 8th World Congress on Heart Failure – Mechanisms and Management
  • Washington DC, United States   (2002 - 2002)
    Chairman, Awards Committee, 8 World Congress on Heart Failure – Mechanisms and Management
  •   (2002)
    Elected as Secretary of the International College of Angiology
  •   (2001)
    Scientific Executive Committee, International Society of Heart Failure
  • Athens, Greece   (2001 - 2001)
    Invited Lecture, “ New Insights into the behavior and treatment of the thoracic aorta,” 16th International Meeting on Clinical Cardiology
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands   (2000)
    Professor
  • Athens, Greece   (2000 - 2000)
    Invited Lecture, “Yale Perspectives on the Thoracic Aorta,” 15th International Meeting on Clinical Cardiology
  • Vancouver, Canada   (2000 - 2000)
    Presentation- “Conventional Cardiac Operations as Alternatives to Heart Transplantations – Long-term Results,” 7th World Congress on Heart Failure – Mechanisms and Management
  • Lyons, France   (2000 - 2000)
    Invited Lecture, “Neither extreme LV dilation nor lack of ischemia on stress testing should contradict CABG for advanced ischemic cardiomyopathy,” 3rd International Congress on Coronary Artery Disease- From Prevention to Intervention
  • Vancouver, Canada   (2000 - 2000)
    Session Chair, Surgical Approaches to the Treatment of Heart Failure, 7th World Congress on Heart Failure – Mechanisms and Management
  • Lyon, France   (2000 - 2000)
    Chairperson, 3rd International Congress on Coronary Artery Disease: From Prevention to Intervention
  • Athens, Greece   (2000)
    International Scientific Committee, 2nd International Meeting of the Onassis Surgery Center
  • Vancouver, Canada   (2000)
    Abstract Review Committee, International Society of Heart Failure
  •   (2000)
    Scientific Executive Committee, 7th World Congress on Heart Failure- Mechanisms & Management
  • Scientific Executive Committee
    Washington, United States   (1999)
    1st International Congress on Heart Disease, International Academy of Cardiology
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands   (1999)
    Visiting Professor
  • Invited Lecturer
    Washington, United States   (1999 - 1999)
    1st International Congress on Heart – New Trends in Research, Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Session Chair
    Washington, United States   (1999 - 1999)
    New Approaches to Surgical Revascularization, 1st International Congress on Heart Disease – New Trends in Research, Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Session Chair
    Washington, United States   (1999 - 1999)
    Plenary Session, Mechanical Support, Left Ventricular Assist Devices, International Academy of Cardiology, 1st International Congress on Heart Disease – New Trends in Research, Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Hamburg, Germany   (1999 - 1999)
    Session Chair: Workshop: Functional Electrical Stimulation in Paralyzed Respiratory Muscles, Spinal Cord Injury Center
  • Hamburg, Germany   (1999 - 1999)
    Invited Lecturer, “The Yale Experience.” Workshop: Functional Electrical Stimulation in Paralyzed Respiratory Muscles, Spinal Cord Injury Center
  • Hamburg, Germany   (1999 - 1999)
    Opening Ceremony Speaker, Workshop: Functional Electrical Stimulation in Paralyzed Respiratory Muscles. Spinal Cord Injury Center
  • Geneva, Switzerland   (1998 - 1998)
    Session Chair: Newer Surgical Techniques, 6th World Congress on Heart Failure - Mechanisms and Management
  • Japan   (1998)
    Honorary Lecturer, Japanese Society for Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Tokyo, Japan   (1998)
    Presentation- "Thoracic Aortic Surgery," 28th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Geneva, Switzerland   (1998)
    Presentation- “Conventional Surgery as an Alternative to Transplantation for the Failing Left Ventricle.” 6th World Congress on Heart Failure - Mechanisms and Management
  • Florence, Italy   (1998 - 1998)
    Invited Lecture, “Ten Year Experience with Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in Advanced Left Ventricular Dysfunction,” 2nd International Congress on Coronary Artery Disease- From Prevention to Intervention
  • Geneva, Switzerland   (1998)
    6th World Congress on Heart Failure, Geneva, Switzerland, Scientific Executive Committee
  •   (1997)
    Scientific Executive Committee, International Academy of Cardiology, Inc.
  • Cairo, Egypt   (1997)
    Visiting Professor
  •   (1997)
    Honorary Lecturer, Alpe Adria Congress of Cardiology
  • Athens, Greece   (1997)
    Co-President, Cardiac Surgery for the Next Millennium
  • Cardiff, United Kingdom   (1997)
    Visiting Professor
  • Tokyo, Japan   (1997)
    Visiting Professor
  • Fuji, Japan   (1997)
    Visiting Professor
  • Yokohama, Japan   (1997)
    Visiting Professor
  • Invited Lecture
    Washington, United States   (1997)
    “Advanced Surgical Modalities for LV Failure: Transplant, Cardiomyoplasty or Reduction Ventriculoplasty." International Society of Heart Failure, 5th World Congress
  • Graz, Austria   (1997)
    Presentation- "LV-Remodeling: Aneurysmectomy with Batista Procedures." 5th Alpe Adria Congress of Cardiology
  • Athens, Greece   (1997 - 1997)
    Invited Lecture, "Should Non-Diseased Vein Grafts Be Replaced at the Time of Redo CABG," Cardiac Surgery Update '97
  • Athens, Greece   (1997 - 1997)
    Invited Lecture, "Application of Conventional Cardiac Surgical Procedures to the Patient with Left Ventricular Failure," Cardiac Surgery Update '97
  • Athens, Greece   (1997 - 1997)
    Invited Lecture, "Left Ventricular Remodeling: Aneurysmectomy and Batista," Cardiac Surgery Update '97
  • Invited Lecture
    Cardiff, United Kingdom   (1997)
    "Left Ventricular Remodeling"
  •   (1997)
    Presentation- "Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery"
  • Japan   (1997)
    Presentation- "Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery - Live Demonstration"
  • Japan   (1997)
    Presentation- "LV Remodeling and Batista Procedure"
  • Prague, Czech Republic   (1997)
    Presentation- "Should Disease-Free Saphenous Vein Grafts Be Replaced at the Time of Redo CABG," First International Congress on Coronary Artery Disease - From Prevention to Intervention
  • Thessaloniki, Greece   (1997 - 1997)
    Presentation- "Advances in the Surgical Management of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms," 2nd Panhellenic Congress of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Graz, Austria   (1997)
    Chairman, "Cardiac Surgery: News and Views Session," 5th Alpe Adria Congress of Cardiology
  • Chairman
    Washington, United States   (1997)
    "New Surgical Approaches to the Failing Heart Session," International Society of Heart Failure, 5th World Congress
  • Athens, Greece   (1997 - 1997)
    Co-Chairman of Program, International Congress of Thorax Surgery, Cardiac Surgery Update '97
  • Istanbul, Turkey   (1997)
    Co-Chairman, Cardiac Surgery I Session, 39th Annual World Congress of International College of Angiology
  • Tokyo, Japan   (1997)
    Course Director: Mini-CABG Training Course
  • Jerusalem, Israel   (1996 - 1996)
    Moderator of session, "Surgical Aspects, Transplantation," 4th World Congress on Heart Failure”
  • Co-Moderator
    Cologne, Germany   (1996 - 1996)
    Cardiac Surgery Session 38th Annual World Congress of the International College of Angiology
  • Jerusalem, Israel   (1996 - 1996)
    Presentation- "Application of Conventional Operations (CABG, Valve Replacement and Left Ventricular Aneurysmectomy) to the Failing Left Ventricle," 4th World Congress on Heart Failure
  • Presentation
    Birmingham, United Kingdom   (1996 - 1996)
    "Deep Hypothermia and Circulatory Arrest Preserves Brain Morphology in Humans," Birmingham Aortic Surgery Symposium
  • Presentation
    Birmingham, United Kingdom   (1996 - 1996)
    "What is the Appropriate Size Criterion for Resection of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms?," Birmingham Aortic Surgery Symposium
  • Jerusalem, Israel   (1996)
    Scientific Advisory Board Member for 4th World Congress on Heart Failure -Mechanisms and Management
  • Jerusalem, Israel   (1996)
    4th World Congress on Heart Failure - Mechanisms and Management, Scientific Advisory Board Member
  •   (1995)
    International College of Angiology, Co-Chairman of the Scientific Council
  • Athens, Greece   (1991)
    Visiting Professor of Surgery
  • Athens, Greece   (1991)
    Presentation- "Skeletal muscle for cardiac assistance"
  • Athens, Greece   (1991)
    Presentation- "Surgical treatment for ventricular arrhythmias"
  •  
    International College of Angiology
  •  
    International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society, Inc.
  •  
    International Society of Heart Failure
  •  
    International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation
  • New York, United States  
    Session Moderator, Cardiac Surgery Session, International College of Angiology’s 44th Annual World Congress

Education & Training

M.D.
Yale University (1976)
Resident
Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, Cardiothoracic Surgery  (1981 - 1982)
Fellow
Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, Cardiothoracic Surgery 
Chief Resident
Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, Surgery  (1980 - 1981)
Resident
Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, Surgery  (1976 - 1980)
Chief Resident
Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, Cardiothoracic Surgery  (1982 - 1983)
Board Certification
Surgery, Board Certified  (1982)
Board Certification
Surgery, Thoracic & Cardiac, Board Certified  (1985)

Honors & Recognition

  • Socrates Award
    Thoracic Residents Association, Thoracic Surgery Directors' Association, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons (Chicago, IL), recognizing exceptional achievement in teaching and mentorship of residents. (2006)
  • Walter Bleifeld Memorial Award for Distinguished Contribution in Clinical Research in Cardiology
    International Academy of Cardiology (2003)
  • Selected to give “Leadership in Biomedicine” lecture
    Yale University School of Medicine (2005)
  • Professor John B. Chang Achievement Award
    International College of Angiology (2004)
  • Most Outstanding Invited Faculty Presentation- "The Aneurysmatic Patient: From Large to Multifocal."
    6th International Advances in Understanding Aortic Diseases Meeting (2005)

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