ISHLT Honors Jon Kobashigawa for Lifetime Achievement in Treating Advanced Heart Disease

Society celebrates Dr. Kobashigawa’s decades of contributions to the thoracic transplant community

Chicago, IL, Feb. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- During its 43rd Annual Meeting in Denver, the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation will honor Jon Kobashigawa, MD, as the recipient of the ISHLT’s 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award. The Award will be formally presented at ISHLT2023 during General Session II on the morning of Thursday, 20 April.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the ISHLT 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Dr. Kobashigawa, a past president of the ISHLT. “I share this award with all my colleagues who have dedicated their professional careers to save the lives of countless patients with end-stage heart disease.”

“I’m honored to be part of the ISHLT Nominating Committee that’s presenting this well-deserved award to Dr. Kobashigawa,” said Lara Danziger-Isakov, MD, ISHLT Past President and Nominating Committee Chair. “Dr. Kobashigawa is a prolific researcher and collaborator, and his work evaluating the markers and risks for rejection and graft failure after heart transplant has been invaluable to the discipline. Further, he’s a thought leader, who continues to develop consensus conferences to share global perspectives and develop approaches to evaluation, diagnosis, and management of our patients. Perhaps most of all, Dr. Kobashigawa has been a generous mentor, with a notable legacy of growing the next generation of leaders in the field.”

Dr. Danziger-Isakov and Sharon Hunt, MD, ISHLT Past President and past Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, recently interviewed Dr. Kobashigawa about this honor, his career, and his contributions to the field. Watch it here.

Dr. Kobashigawa is Director of the Advanced Heart Disease Division, Director of the Heart Transplant Program, and Associate Director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. He is also the DSL/Thomas D. Gordon Professor of Medicine at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a Clinical Professor of Medicine/Cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

After earning his undergraduate degree at Stanford University, Dr. Kobashigawa completed his medical degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He performed his internship, residency, and cardiology fellowship at the UCLA Medical Center.

A past president of the ISHLT, Dr. Kobashigawa has served on many Society committees and task forces, including the ISHLT Research Oversight Committee, the Finance Committee, and on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. He was a contributing writer to the 2006 and 2010 ISHLT Guidelines for the Care of Cardiac Transplant Candidates. He has been active in a number of other societies, including as Chairman of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Committee on Heart Failure and Transplantation; as a member of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) National Thoracic Committee and Membership/Professional Standards Committee; on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Transplantation (AST); and many more.

Dr. Kobashigawa’s contributions to heart transplantation are numerous, but perhaps most notable is his organization of several international Consensus Conferences to discuss critical issues in the field. The resulting consensus statements, on which he served as Chair and lead author, have been instrumental in advancing the discussion of key topics in heart transplantation and often in developing needed guidelines in these critical areas. Some key accomplishments from his consensus conferences have included the revision of the ISHLT heart transplant biopsy grading scale; the establishment of the clinical diagnosis/relevance of Antibody-Mediated Rejection and circulating antibodies in heart transplantation; greater attention to transplant nursing as a crucial partner in patient care; and contributing to the development of the 2018 UNOS Donor Heart Allocation Policy.

Finally, Dr. Kobashigawa is a remarkable leader and mentor, forging a path for the next generation of heart transplant practitioners. Much of his career has been dedicated to the training and professional development of students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty. For more than 20 years, he has offered a formal summer research internship program to undergraduates, graduate students, and medical students. More than 200 students have participated in this internship opportunity since it was established in 1999, with 100% of these students publishing their work and more than 90% going on to a career in medicine. He has mentored more than 70 residents and fellows through the research process, as well as serving as a clinical faculty attending physician with responsibilities for research and training.


The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation is a not-for-profit, multidisciplinary professional organization dedicated to improving the care of patients with advanced heart or lung disease through transplantation, mechanical support and innovative therapies. With members in more than 50 countries, ISHLT is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the research, education and advocacy of end-stage heart and lung disease. ISHLT members represent more than 15 different professional disciplines. For more information, visit


Jon Kobashigawa, MD

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