Joel D. Cooper

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Joel D. Cooper, F.A.C.S., a thoracic surgeon, is known for having completed the first successful lung transplant and the first successful double lung transplant.


Cooper graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1964, completed his fellowship, and then obtained his first faculty appointment in 1972 at the University of Toronto. He performed the world's first successful lung transplant on pulmonary fibrosis victim Tom Hall on November 7th, 1983 at Toronto General Hospital. He performed the world's first successful double lung transplant on emphasema victim Ann Harrison in 1986 at the same hospital. In 1988 he moved to Washington University School of Medicine, and then in 2005 to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he currently practices. He was the head of thoracic surgery at Washington University, and also has that position at the University of Pennsylvania. He was past president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of numerous honorary degrees.[1]


Special interests include areas in general thoracic, esophageal & tracheal surgery, adult lung transplantation, lung-volume reduction surgery, surgical treatment of lung cancer, and swallowing disorders. He is widely recognized for his contributions in the field of tracheal surgery, esophageal surgery, pulmonary physiology, lung transplantation, and surgery for emphysema.[1]