Joseph Woo, MD, a nationally recognized heart surgeon and leading researcher in new approaches to cardiovascular care, is the new chair of Stanford's Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
As a surgeon who performed 350 to 400 heart surgeries a year, Woo pioneered multiple innovative procedures including minimally invasive techniques for mitral and aortic valve repair and reconstruction, and new methods of treating complex thoracic aortic disease. At Stanford, he plans to lead exploration of the newest techniques and devices for heart care, such as new approaches to repairing versus replacing valves; smaller, more efficient mechanical heart pumps; and operations performed without stopping the heart.
"There is a rich legacy at Stanford for developing pioneering techniques for transplantation and the treatment of thoracic aortic disease," says Woo, who plans to continue this tradition by furthering basic research in the lab and bringing basic science discoveries into use in clinical trials. "It is truly a privilege to become a part of this amazingly prestigious, world-renowned academic institution."
As professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, Woo ran several clinical trials involving the translational use of stem cells for treatment of heart disease, and says he hopes to see Stanford’s participation in clinical trials increase at the national level.
Better access to care
Woo is equally intent on improving the ease and expediency of access to Stanford. To that end, referring physicians can now call a dedicated phone number, 650-492-3175, and immediately discuss a patient's case with a Stanford faculty surgeon (24/7). "We are absolutely committed to maintaining very frequent and open communication with our referring physicians to ensure that they are closely involved in all of the key decision-making in the care of their patients," says Woo.