Prem Shekar

Prem Shekar, MBBS, MS, MCh, FRCSEd, a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon in BWH’s Division of Cardiac Surgery, was appointed chief earlier this spring. He was also appointed surgical director of BWH’s Heart & Vascular Center.

“Highly skilled and respected, collaborative and a truly caring surgeon, Prem will be an excellent leader for our continuing work to further strengthen the Heart & Vascular Center vision,” said Michael Zinner, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery.

Shekar’s clinical and research interests include surgery for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—a disease in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick—and surgical correction of aortic root and mitral valve disease in patients with Marfan’s syndrome and other connective tissue disorders. He is also interested in minimally invasive valve surgery and radiation-induced heart disease, as well as conventional surgery. He is well-known among his colleagues for his thoughtful approach to complex cases.

Shekar is involved in clinical outcomes research and has published numerous papers. He was the principal investigator in the CIMIT-funded Hybrid Cardiovascular Operating Room project and the site principal investigator for the HeartMate II Pivotal trial, which investigated the role of a novel ventricular assist device as a permanent therapy for patients with advanced heart disease who are not candidates for transplantation.

Shekar joined BWH in 2001 as a cardiothoracic surgical fellow and became a faculty member in 2004. He has served in leadership roles in the division, including interim surgical director of the Integrated Cardiovascular Services Program and surgical director of the BWH Patient Progression initiative.

He received his medical degree from Bangalore University, India, and completed his postgraduate training at the Command Hospital–Indian Air Force and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in India. He completed advanced cardiothoracic fellowships at the Fremantle Hospital and Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia and at BWH. He is also a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Shekar succeeds John G. Byrne, MD, who resigned as chair in May.

“John’s leadership and experience, which encompass the broad spectrum of cardiac surgery, have been instrumental in the transformation of the Heart & Vascular Center,” said Zinner. “His commitment upon his arrival to BWH was to focus on enhancing the collaboration and teamwork between Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. He achieved that goal, helping to establish a patient-centric, integrated-care delivery system.”

Byrne will continue to assist BWH in its ongoing efforts to strengthen relationships with community cardiac surgery programs.