Shaf Keshavjee, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS

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Dr. Shaf Keshavjee is a world-renowned thoracic surgeon-scientist with a history of breakthroughs and discoveries in lung transplantation. He is the current Surgeon-in-Chief of the Sprott Department of Surgery, the Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program and Latner Thoracic Research Laboratories at UHN, and Professor of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Keshavjee completed his medical training at the University of Toronto in 1985, and specialized in General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. He participated in the world’s first successful double lung transplant at Toronto General Hospital in 1986. Dr. Keshavjee completed fellowships at Harvard University and the University of London. During his Master’s studies, Dr. Keshavjee developed a lung preservation solution for donor lungs that has now been translated into clinical use around the world. Since then, he has led the development and translation of many innovations to the clinic, including the Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) system.

For Dr. Keshavjee’s achievements and leadership in the field, he has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour that recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Furthermore, he is a member of the Order of Ontario and has been awarded two Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals. In 2020, he received the prestigious Governor General of Canada’s Innovation Award. Other notable recognitions include UHN's Inventor of the Year Award, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Society of Transplantation.

My lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms of lung preservation, injury and repair. We developed the Toronto Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) system, which has transformed how the world performs lung transplantation. During EVLP, donor lungs are placed in a sterile and protective dome outside of the body (“ex vivo”) and supplied oxygen, nutrients and other critical components that enable the lung to breathe on its own. During the six hours that a lung can remain physiologically active on EVLP, surgeons can fully assess physiologic quality and make a more informed and objective decision on whether to utilize the lung for transplant. Importantly, the hours during which lungs are on EVLP have also enabled a critical time window in which the team can apply novel, isolated therapies to repair injured donor lungs prior to transplant. To this extent, we are currently developing a number of precision diagnostics and novel repair therapies, including gene therapy and CRISPR-Cas9 applications, that will maximize the potential of EVLP in the transplant clinic.

For a list of Dr. Keshavjee's publications, please visit PubMed, Scopus or ORCID.


Recent Publications

Kanou T, Nakahira K, Choi AM, Yeung JC, Cypel M, Liu M, Keshavjee S. Cell-free DNA in human ex vivo lung perfusate as a potential biomarker to predict the risk of primary graft dysfunction in lung transplantation. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 Aug 11: S0022-5223.

Cypel M, Keshavjee S. When to consider lung transplantation for COVID-19. Lancet Respir Med. 2020 Oct;8(10):944-946.

Elmi M, Wakeam E, Azin A, Presutti R, McCready DR, Cil TD, Keshavjee S. Surgical Morbidity of Full-Thickness Chest Wall Resection for Breast Cancer: A Retrospective Study of a National Database. J Surg Res. 2021 Jan;257:161-166.

Yeung JC, Machuca TN, Chaparro C, Cypel M, Stephenson AL, Solomon M, Saito T, Binnie M, Chow CW, Grasemann H, Pierre AF, Yasufuku K, de Perrot M, Donahoe LL, Tikkanen J, Martinu T, Waddell TK, Tullis E, Singer LG, Keshavjee S. Lung transplantation for cystic fibrosis. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2020 Jun;39(6):553-560.

Waddell TK, Tullis E, Singer LG, Keshavjee S. Lung transplantation for cystic fibrosis. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2020 Jun;39(6):553-560.

Surgeon-in-Chief, Sprott Surgery, University Health Network
James Wallace McCutcheon Chair in Surgery, University Health Network
Director, Toronto Lung Transplant Program
Director, Latner Thoracic Research Laboratories
Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
Vice Chair of Innovation, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
Cross Appointed Faculty, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto