• Dr. James K. Kirklin is a professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and currently holds the James K. Kirklin Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Kirklin has formerly held the John W. Kirklin Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery, as well as the UAB Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Surgical Research. Dr. Kirklin served as director of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery from 2006-2016. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1969, where he excelled as a springboard and tower diver, twice receiving All-American Honors. Dr. Kirklin received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1973 as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. After completing general and cardiothoracic surgery residencies at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1979, he pursued additional training at Boston Children’s Hospital and UAB. Dr. Kirklin was appointed assistant professor of surgery at UAB in 1981, director of cardiac transplantation in 1986 and professor of surgery in 1987. Consistently cited in “Best Doctors in America,” Dr. Kirklin’s clinical interests focus on surgery for pediatric and adult congenital heart disease, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support.

    Dr. Kirklin’s many research interests involve cardiac transplantation, mechanical circulatory support and outcomes research in cardiac surgery. Dr. Kirklin and his colleagues at UAB established the Cardiac Transplant Research Database in 1990, which generated the first multi-institutional collaborative research in heart transplantation, producing numerous seminal publications over a 20-year span. In 1993, Kirklin and his UAB research group initiated the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study Group, which continues to lead the field in multi-institutional studies. Currently Dr. Kirklin is the principal investigator of the $15-million, NIH-sponsored national Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS). UAB established the James and John Kirklin Institute for Research in Surgical Outcomes in 2016 to honor both Dr. James K. Kirklin and Dr. John W Kirklin.

    Dr. Kirklin is the past president of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and is a member of numerous academic societies. He served as editor of the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation from 2000-2009, and he is principal editor of the ISHLT Monograph Series, in which nine books to date have been published. He was first author on the premier textbook on Heart Transplantation and co-author of the fourth edition of the Cardiac Surgery textbook. He has authored more than 500 scientific publications. In 2014, he was the first recipient of the ISHLT Distinguished Educator Award.

    A major thrust of Dr. Kirklin’s professional career has focused on cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support in the treatment of advanced heart failure in pediatric and adult patients, as well as surgical repair of congenital cardiac defects in pediatric and adult patients. His position as first author of the field’s premier textbook, Heart Transplantation, co-author of the fourth edition of the Cardiac Surgery textbook, editor of a monograph on mechanical circulatory support representing the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation and having served as the past president of ISHLT provides evidence for his national and international reputation in these fields. In addition, his curriculum vitae contains more than 500 original publications, many of which relate to the fields of mechanical circulatory support, transplantation and congenital heart surgery. He is currently the PI of the NHLBI INTERMACS. It is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional database on durable mechanical circulatory support devices that represents a collaborative effort between the NHLBI, FDA, CMS, clinical experts in advanced heart failure and mechanical circulatory support, and industry.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2018 The Frozen Apex: A Useful Addition to the Surgeons Armamentarium? 2018
    2018 Second annual report from the ISHLT Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support Registry 2018
    2017 Eighth annual INTERMACS report: Special focus on framing the impact of adverse events 2017
    2017 The regurgitant bicuspid aortic valve: Recalibrating our surgical strategies 2017
    2016 Current Expectations for Cardiac Transplantation in Patients With Congenital Heart Disease 2016
    2016 Databases in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery: A Nexus of Opportunity and Obligation. 2016
    2016 Late Left Ventricular Outflow Tract Obstruction Following the Rastelli Operation: Expectations Out to 20 Years 2016
    2016 Transformational trajectory of paediatric circulatory support: The impact of a unique vision 2016
    2016 Challenging homografts as the holy grail for aortic valve endocarditis 2016
    2016 First Annual IMACS Report: A global International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation Registry for Mechanical Circulatory Support 2016
    2016 Heart Transplantation for Complex Congenital Heart Disease: Will It Become an Arcane Activity? 2016
    2015 Pump thrombosis in the Thoratec HeartMate II device: An update analysis of the INTERMACS Registry 2015
    2015 Seventh INTERMACS annual report: 15,000 patients and counting 2015
    2015 Health-Related Quality of Life in Adult Survivors After the Fontan Operation 2015
    2015 Health-Related Quality of Life in Adult Survivors after the Fontan Operation 2015
    2015 Mock loop revelations and the calculus for recovery 2015
    2015 Invited commentary 2015
    2014 Invited commentary 2014
    2014 Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) analysis of pump thrombosis in the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device 2014
    2014 Invited commentary 2014
    2014 Mechanical circulatory support: Strategies and outcomes in pediatric congenital heart disease 2014
    2014 Sixth INTERMACS annual report: A 10,000-patient database 2014
    2013 Quantifying the effect of cardiorenal syndrome on mortality after left ventricular assist device implant 2013
    2013 Invited commentary 2013
    2013 Fifth INTERMACS annual report: Risk factor analysis from more than 6,000 mechanical circulatory support patients 2013
    2012 Long-term mechanical circulatory support (destination therapy): On track to compete with heart transplantation? 2012
    2012 Novel technique of valve-sparing aortic root replacement in two children younger than 3 years of age 2012
    2012 Implantation of the HeartWare HVAD in a child after a recent thromboembolic stroke 2012
    2012 Invited commentary 2012
    2012 The Fourth INTERMACS Annual Report: 4,000 implants and counting 2012
    2011 Third INTERMACS annual report: The evolution of destination therapy in the United States 2011
    2010 Second INTERMACS annual report: More than 1,000 primary left ventricular assist device implants 2010
    2008 INTERMACS Database for Durable Devices for Circulatory Support: First Annual Report 2008
    2008 Is the "perfect fontan" operation routinely achievable in the modern era? 2008
    2008 Mechanical Circulatory Support as a Bridge to Pediatric Cardiac Transplantation 2008
    2008 Mechanical circulatory support: registering a therapy in evolution. 2008
    2006 Mechanical circulatory support therapy as a bridge to transplant or recovery (new advances) 2006
    2006 Rejection with hemodynamic compromise: Objective evidence for efficacy of photopheresis 2006
    2006 Should status II patients be removed from the pediatric heart transplant waiting list? A multi-institutional study 2006
    2005 Is biopsy-proven cellular rejection an important clinical consideration in heart transplantation? 2005
    2002 Strategies for minimizing hyperlipidemia after cardiac transplantation 2002
    2000 Pediatric cardiac transplantation. 2000

    Research Overview

  • health services research, surgical outcomes
  • Full Name

  • James Kirklin