Sarver Heart Center, Room 4137
James K. Kirklin, MD
"Mechanical Circulatory Support: Barriers to Application in Ambulatory Heart Failure"
Dr. James Kirklin is Director, Kirklin Institute for Research in Surgical Outcomes (KIRSO), Professor of Surgery, former Director of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and the James Kirklin Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). 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 MD 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, Professor of Surgery in 1987, and served as Director of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery from 2006 - 2016. Consistently cited in “Best Doctors in America”, Dr. Kirklin’s clinical interests focused on surgery for pediatric and adult congenital heart disease, heart transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support.
Dr. Kirklin previously held the UAB Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Surgical Research and the John W. Kirklin Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery. His 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. Dr. Kirklin was Principal Investigator of the $15 million NIH-funded national Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) from 2006-2017. Kirklin led the formation of the International Registry for Mechanical Circulatory Support (IMACS) for the Internatinal Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation in 2012 and the World Database for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery in 2017.
Dr. Kirklin is past President of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) (2009-2010) and President-elect of the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery (2022). He served as Editor of the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation (2000 – 2009) and is Principal Editor of the ISHLT Monograph Series in which 11 books have been published. He was first author on the premier textbook on Heart Transplantationand co-author of the 4th Edition of theCardiac Surgery textbook. He has authored or co-authored over 500 scientific publications. In 2014, he was the first recipient of the ISHLT Distinguished Educator Award. UAB has honored him with the establishment of the James K. Kirklin Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the James Kirklin Visiting Professorship, and the Bourge-Kirklin Scholar. In April 2016, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees established the James and John Kirklin Institute for Research in Surgical Outcomes (KIRSO). Dr. Kirklin’s passions outside of medicine include scuba diving (Master Scuba Diver) and ocean yachting.