Faculty

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Vaughn Alden Starnes, MD
Chair and Distinguished Professor of Surgery
H. Russell Smith Foundation Chair For Stem Cell and Cardiovascular Thoracic Research
Surgery
HCT 4300 Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 5849

Overview

Vaughn Starnes, M.D., is a recognized expert in heart and lung transplants, repair of congenital heart defects and heart surgery in children and newborns, Starnes pioneered the living-related double-lobar lung transplant in 1993. He is investigating the use of gene therapy to prevent scarring following heart surgery and he is currently involved in a clinical trial for cardiothoracic surgery using robotic surgery technology.

He joined USC in July 1992 and was appointed chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in 1997.

Dr. Starnes has an ongoing interest in congenital heart disease, heart, lung, heart-lung and living related lung transplantation, coronary bypass grafting, and repair and replacement of the valves of the heart. He is also involved in research, helping develop gene therapy techniques to address the problem of restenosis following balloon angioplasty.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, Dr. Starnes performed his general surgery training at Vanderbilt University, where he also completed two years of research in cardiothoracic physiology and pharmacology. He completed two years at Stanford University as a cardiovascular surgery resident and one year as chief resident in cardiac transplantation under the mentorship of cardiothoracic transplant pioneer Dr. Norman Shumway.

These positions were followed by a fellowship in pediatric cardiovascular surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in London. When he returned to Stanford, he was appointed director of the university’s heart-lung transplantation program.

Awards

Pasadena Magazine: Top Doctor, 2014

Pasadena Magazine: Top Doctor, 2011

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd: List of America's Top Doctors, 2011

USC: Presidential Medallion, 2008

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd: America's Top Doctors - New York, 2004

Publications

Kumar SR, Bansal N, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. Outcomes of Reintervention on the Autograft After Ross Procedure. Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Nov; 102(5):1517-1521. View in: PubMed

Bowdish ME, Hui DS, Cleveland JD, Mack WJ, Sinha R, Ranjan R, Cohen RG, Baker CJ, Cunningham MJ, Barr ML, Starnes VA. A comparison of aortic valve replacement via an anterior right minithoracotomy with standard sternotomy: a propensity score analysis of 492 patients†. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2016 Feb; 49(2):456-63. View in: PubMed

Pike NA, Okuhara CA, Toyama J, Gross BP, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. Reduced pleural drainage, length of stay, and readmissions using a modified Fontan management protocol. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015 Sep; 150(3):481-7. View in: PubMed

Wiggins LM, Kumar SR, Starnes VA, Wells WJ. Arterioplasty for Right Ventricular Outflow Tract Obstruction After Arterial Switch Is a Durable Procedure. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Jul; 100(1):122-8. View in: PubMed

Sabati AA, Szmuszkovicz JR, Herrington C, Hermes M, Mahmoud HA, Phei Wee C, Starnes VA, Menteer J. Survival and quality of life for children with end-stage heart failure who are not candidates for cardiac transplant. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2015 Jul; 34(7):906-11. View in: PubMed

Bansal N, Kumar SR, Baker CJ, Lemus R, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. Age-Related Outcomes of the Ross Procedure Over 20 Years. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Jun; 99(6):2077-85. View in: PubMed

Hui DS, Shavelle DM, Starnes VA, McFadden PM. Concurrent aortic valvular disease and pulmonary sequestration: clinical implications. Tex Heart Inst J. 2014 Dec; 41(6):649-52. View in: PubMed

Greene CL, Barr ML, Schenkel FA, Worrell SG, Starnes VA, McFadden PM. Outcomes after pregnancy in living lobar lung transplantation. Transplantation. 2014 Oct 15; 98(7):692-4. View in: PubMed

Hui DS, Shavelle DM, Cunningham MJ, Matthews RV, Starnes VA. Contemporary use of balloon aortic valvuloplasty in the era of transcatheter aortic valve implantation. Tex Heart Inst J. 2014 Sep; 41(5):469-76. View in: PubMed

Long T, Lopez BM, Berberian C, Cunningham MJ, Starnes VA, Cohen RG. Exercise Hemodynamics and Quality of Life after Aortic Valve Replacement for Aortic Stenosis in the Elderly Using the Hancock II Bioprosthesis. Cardiol Res Pract. 2014; 2014:151282. View in: PubMed

Shinbane JS, Shriki J, Fleischman F, Hindoyan A, Withey J, Lee C, Wilcox A, Cunningham M, Baker C, Matthews RV, Starnes V. Anomalous coronary arteries: cardiovascular computed tomographic angiography for surgical decisions and planning. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2013 Apr; 4(2):142-54. View in: PubMed

Lien CL, Harrison MR, Tuan TL, Starnes VA. Heart repair and regeneration: Recent insights from zebrafish studies. Wound Repair Regen. 2012 Sep; 20(5):638-46. View in: PubMed

Baker RY, Nguyen TJ, Hernandez AM, Wong AK, Baker CJ, Starnes VA. Breast implants and minimally invasive cardiac surgery: a case series. Ann Plast Surg. 2012 Jul; 69(1):10-3. View in: PubMed

Kane LC, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. A novel reconstruction of the left superior vena cava. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012 Apr; 143(4):981-2. View in: PubMed

Muralidaran A, Kim RW, Kopf GS, Pietris NP, Weeks BP, Starnes VA, Shinoka T. Modified starnes procedure in a neonate with severe tricuspid regurgitation. Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Feb; 93(2):658-9. View in: PubMed

Shinbane JS, Shriki J, Hindoyan A, Ghosh B, Chang P, Farvid A, Saxon LA, Cao M, Cesario D, Takahashi M, Colletti PM, Wilcox A, Baker C, Starnes V. Unoperated congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries, nonrestrictive ventricular septal defect, and pulmonary stenosis in middle adulthood: do multiple wrongs make a right? World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2012 Jan 1; 3(1):123-9. View in: PubMed

Cunningham MJ, Berberian CE, Starnes VA. Is transthoracic minimally invasive aortic valve replacement too time-consuming for the busy cardiac surgeon? Innovations (Phila). 2011 Jan; 6(1):10-4. View in: PubMed

Kim J, Wu Q, Zhang Y, Wiens KM, Huang Y, Rubin N, Shimada H, Handin RI, Chao MY, Tuan TL, Starnes VA, Lien CL. PDGF signaling is required for epicardial function and blood vessel formation in regenerating zebrafish hearts. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Oct 5; 107(40):17206-10. View in: PubMed

Nath DS, Nussbaum DP, Yurko C, Ragab OM, Shin AJ, Kumar SR, Starnes VA, Wells WJ. Pulmonary homograft monocusp reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract: outcomes to the intermediate term. Ann Thorac Surg. 2010 Jul; 90(1):42-9. View in: PubMed

del Castillo SL, McCulley ME, Khemani RG, Jeffries HE, Thomas DW, Peregrine J, Wells WJ, Starnes VA, Moromisato DY. Reducing the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome with the introduction of an enteral feed protocol. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2010 May; 11(3):373-7. View in: PubMed

Nath DS, Shin AJ, Nussbaum DP, Berman D, Starnes VA, Wells WJ. Ascending aortitis and aortic valve endocarditis in an infant. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2010 Apr; 139(4):e90-1. View in: PubMed

Biniwale RM, Wells WJ, Herrington CS, Starnes VA. Obstruction of lateral tunnel fontan by an adjustable occluder device. J Card Surg. 2009 Nov-Dec; 24(6):750-2. View in: PubMed

Evans W, Madrid A, Castillo W, Rollins R, Berthoty DP, Starnes V, Wiencek R, Ciccolo M, Acherman R. All cardiac right ventricular outpouches are not created equal. Pediatr Cardiol. 2009 Oct; 30(7):954-7. View in: PubMed

Nath DS, Carden AJ, Nussbaum DP, Shin AJ, Khemani RG, Starnes VA, Wells WJ. Can the Kawashima procedure be performed in younger patients? Ann Thorac Surg. 2009 Aug; 88(2):581-6; discussion 586-7. View in: PubMed

Pruetz JD, Badran S, Dorey F, Starnes VA, Lewis AB. Differential branch pulmonary artery growth after the Norwood procedure with right ventricle-pulmonary artery conduit versus modified Blalock-Taussig shunt in hypoplastic left heart syndrome. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2009 Jun; 137(6):1342-8. View in: PubMed

Pruetz JD, Takahashi M, Reemtsen BL, Starnes VA. A novel surgical approach to left main coronary artery giant aneurysm thrombosis in a child with a history of Kawasaki disease. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2009 Apr; 137(4):1030-2. View in: PubMed

Tran TT, Starnes V, Wang X, Getzen J, Ross BD. Cardiovascular magnetics resonance diagnosis of cystic tumor of the atrioventricular node. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2009; 11:13. View in: PubMed

Polimenakos AC, Reemtsen BL, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. Right ventricular exclusion procedure with total cavopulmonary connection: an alternative operative approach in adults with severe Ebstein anomaly. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008 May; 135(5):1182-3. View in: PubMed

Kanaan S, Baker C, Starnes V. Resection of giant coronary artery aneurysms in a Takayasu's arteritis patient. Ann Thorac Surg. 2008 May; 85(5):1795-6. View in: PubMed

Baker CJ, Boulom V, Reemtsen BL, Rollins RC, Starnes VA, Wells WJ. Hemidiaphragm plication after repair of congenital heart defects in children: quantitative return of diaphragm function over time. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008 Jan; 135(1):56-61. View in: PubMed

Reemtsen BL, Polimenakos AC, Fagan BT, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. Fate of the right ventricle after fenestrated right ventricular exclusion for severe neonatal Ebstein anomaly. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2007 Dec; 134(6):1406-10; discussion 1410-2. View in: PubMed

Reemtsen BL, Pike NA, Starnes VA. Stage I palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome: Norwood versus Sano modification. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2007 Mar; 22(2):60-5. View in: PubMed

Zahorsky-Reeves JL, Kearns-Jonker MK, Lam TT, Jackson JR, Morris RE, Starnes VA, Cramer DV. The xenoantibody response and immunoglobulin gene expression profile of cynomolgus monkeys transplanted with hDAF-transgenic porcine hearts. Xenotransplantation. 2007 Mar; 14(2):135-44. View in: PubMed

Lam TT, Reemtsen BL, Starnes VA, Wells WJ. A novel approach to the surgical correction of scimitar syndrome. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2007 Feb; 133(2):573-4. View in: PubMed

Mitsuhashi N, Wu GD, Zhu H, Kearns-Jonker M, Cramer DV, Starnes VA, Barr ML. Rat chemokine CXCL11: structure, tissue distribution, function and expression in cardiac transplantation models. Mol Cell Biochem. 2007 Feb; 296(1-2):1-9. View in: PubMed

Reemtsen BL, Fagan BT, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. Current surgical therapy for Ebstein anomaly in neonates. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006 Dec; 132(6):1285-90. View in: PubMed

Backhus LM, Sievers E, Lin GY, Castanos R, Bart RD, Starnes VA, Bremner RM. Perioperative cyclooxygenase 2 inhibition to reduce tumor cell adhesion and metastatic potential of circulating tumor cells in non-small cell lung cancer. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006 Aug; 132(2):297-303. View in: PubMed

Mitsuhashi N, Fischer-Lougheed J, Shulkin I, Kleihauer A, Kohn DB, Weinberg KI, Starnes VA, Kearns-Jonker M. Tolerance induction by lentiviral gene therapy with a nonmyeloablative regimen. Blood. 2006 Mar 15; 107(6):2286-93. View in: PubMed

Jeffries HE, Wells WJ, Starnes VA, Wetzel RC, Moromisato DY. Gastrointestinal morbidity after Norwood palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Ann Thorac Surg. 2006 Mar; 81(3):982-7. View in: PubMed

del Castillo SL, Moromisato DY, Dorey F, Ludwick J, Starnes VA, Wells WJ, Jeffries HE, Wong PC. Mesenteric blood flow velocities in the newborn with single-ventricle physiology: modified Blalock-Taussig shunt versus right ventricle-pulmonary artery conduit. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2006 Mar; 7(2):132-7. View in: PubMed

Watanabe M, Mencel RL, Cramer DV, Starnes VA, Barr ML. Transforming growth factor-beta/interleukin-2-induced regulatory CD4+ T cells prolong cardiac allograft survival in rats. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2005 Dec; 24(12):2153-9. View in: PubMed

Backhus LM, Sievers EM, Schenkel FA, Barr ML, Cohen RG, Smith MA, Starnes VA, Bremner RM. Pleural space problems after living lobar transplantation. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2005 Dec; 24(12):2086-90. View in: PubMed

Backhus LM, Petasis NA, Uddin J, Schönthal AH, Bart RD, Lin Y, Starnes VA, Bremner RM. Dimethyl celecoxib as a novel non-cyclooxygenase 2 therapy in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2005 Nov; 130(5):1406-12. View in: PubMed

Baker CJ, Wells WJ, Derby CA, Rizi S, Starnes VA. Ascending aortic extension for enlargement of the aortopulmonary space in children with pulmonary artery stenosis. Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Nov; 80(5):1647-51. View in: PubMed

Nigro JJ, Bart RD, Derby CD, Sklansky MS, Starnes VA. Proximal conduit obstruction after Sano modified Norwood procedure. Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Nov; 80(5):1924-8. View in: PubMed

Kleihauer A, Gregory CR, Borie DC, Kyles AE, Shulkin I, Patanwala I, Zahorsky-Reeves J, Starnes VA, Mullen Y, Todorov IT, Kearns-Jonker M. Identification of the V genes encoding xenoantibodies in non-immunosuppressed rhesus monkeys. Immunology. 2005 Sep; 116(1):89-102. View in: PubMed

Wells WJ, Yu RJ, Batra AS, Monforte H, Sintek C, Starnes VA. Obstruction in modified Blalock shunts: a quantitative analysis with clinical correlation. Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Jun; 79(6):2072-6. View in: PubMed

Sievers EM, Bart RD, Backhus LM, Lin Y, Starnes M, Castanos R, Starnes VA, Bremner RM. Evaluation of cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition in an orthotopic murine model of lung cancer for dose-dependent effect. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2005 Jun; 129(6):1242-9. View in: PubMed

Starnes VA. Presidential address: an evolving discipline. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2005 Mar; 129(3):483-7. View in: PubMed

Bowdish ME, Pessotto R, Barbers RG, Schenkel FA, Starnes VA, Barr ML. Long-term pulmonary function after living-donor lobar lung transplantation in adults. Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Feb; 79(2):418-25. View in: PubMed

Batra AS, Starnes VA, Wells WJ. Does the site of insertion of a systemic-pulmonary shunt influence growth of the pulmonary arteries? Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Feb; 79(2):636-40. View in: PubMed

Khwaja S, Nigro JJ, Starnes VA. The Ross procedure is an ideal aortic valve replacement operation for the teen patient. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg Pediatr Card Surg Annu. 2005; 173-5. View in: PubMed

Koulouri S, Woo MS, Horn MV, Wells WJ, Starnes VA, Szmuszkovicz JR. Previous thoracic surgery does not increase peri-operative mortality in pediatric heart-lung transplant recipients. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2004 Nov; 23(11):1228-30. View in: PubMed

Bowdish ME, Barr ML, Schenkel FA, Woo MS, Bremner RM, Horn MV, Baker CJ, Barbers RG, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. A decade of living lobar lung transplantation: perioperative complications after 253 donor lobectomies. Am J Transplant. 2004 Aug; 4(8):1283-8. View in: PubMed

Kearns-Jonker M, Fischer-Lougheed J, Shulkin I, Kleihauer A, Mitsuhashi N, Kohn DB, Weinberg K, D'Apice AJ, Starnes VA, Cramer DV. Use of lentiviral vectors to induce long-term tolerance to gal(+) heart grafts. Transplantation. 2004 Jun 15; 77(11):1748-54. View in: PubMed

Gupta A, Daggett C, Behera S, Ferraro M, Wells W, Starnes V. Risk factors for persistent pleural effusions after the extracardiac Fontan procedure. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2004 Jun; 127(6):1664-9. View in: PubMed

Mitsuhashi N, Kearns-Jonker M, Wu GD, Bowdish ME, Jin YS, Mencel R, Zahorsky-Reeves J, Fischer-Lougheed J, Weinberg KI, Starnes VA, Cramer DV. Identification, functional analysis and expression in a heterotopic heart transplant model of CXCL9 in the rat. Immunology. 2004 May; 112(1):87-93. View in: PubMed

Nigro JJ, Schwartz DS, Bart RD, Bart CW, Lopez BM, Cunningham MJ, Barr ML, Bremner RM, Haddy SM, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. Neochordal repair of the posterior mitral leaflet. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2004 Feb; 127(2):440-7. View in: PubMed

Thompson JL, Ryan JA, Barr ML, Franc B, Starnes VA, Schwarz MA. Potential role for antiangiogenic proteins in the myocardial infarction repair process. J Surg Res. 2004 Jan; 116(1):156-64. View in: PubMed

Starnes VA, Bowdish ME, Woo MS, Barbers RG, Schenkel FA, Horn MV, Pessotto R, Sievers EM, Baker CJ, Cohen RG, Bremner RM, Wells WJ, Barr ML. A decade of living lobar lung transplantation: recipient outcomes. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2004 Jan; 127(1):114-22. View in: PubMed

Haddy S, Starnes VA. Lobar transplantation. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2003 Dec; 126(6):2106; author reply 2106. View in: PubMed

Ner Z, Ross LA, Horn MV, Keens TG, MacLaughlin EF, Starnes VA, Woo MS. Bordetella bronchiseptica infection in pediatric lung transplant recipients. Pediatr Transplant. 2003 Oct; 7(5):413-7. View in: PubMed

Diperna CA, Bart RD, Sievers EM, Ma Y, Starnes VA, Bremner RM. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition decreases primary and metastatic tumor burden in a murine model of orthotopic lung adenocarcinoma. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2003 Oct; 126(4):1129-33. View in: PubMed

Wu GD, Tuan TL, Bowdish ME, Jin YS, Starnes VA, Cramer DV, Barr ML. Evidence for recipient derived fibroblast recruitment and activation during the development of chronic cardiac allograft rejection. Transplantation. 2003 Aug 15; 76(3):609-14. View in: PubMed

Bowdish ME, Barr ML, Starnes VA. Living lobar transplantation. Chest Surg Clin N Am. 2003 Aug; 13(3):505-24. View in: PubMed

Sritippayawan S, Keens TG, Horn MV, Starnes VA, Woo MS. What are the best pulmonary function test parameters for early detection of post-lung transplant bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome in children? Pediatr Transplant. 2003 Jun; 7(3):200-3. View in: PubMed

Wu GD, Nolta JA, Jin YS, Barr ML, Yu H, Starnes VA, Cramer DV. Migration of mesenchymal stem cells to heart allografts during chronic rejection. Transplantation. 2003 Mar 15; 75(5):679-85. View in: PubMed

Sritippayawan S, Keens TG, Horn MV, MacLaughlin EF, Barr ML, Starnes VA, Woo MS. Does lung growth occur when mature lobes are transplanted into children? Pediatr Transplant. 2002 Dec; 6(6):500-4. View in: PubMed

Wu GD, Jin YS, Salazar R, Dai WD, Barteneva N, Barr ML, Barsky LW, Starnes VA, Cramer DV. Vascular endothelial cell apoptosis induced by anti-donor non-MHC antibodies: a possible injury pathway contributing to chronic allograft rejection. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2002 Nov; 21(11):1174-87. View in: PubMed

Haddy SM, Bremner RM, Moore-Jefferies EW, Thangathurai D, Schenkel FA, Barr ML, Starnes VA. Hyperinflation resulting in hemodynamic collapse following living donor lobar transplantation. Anesthesiology. 2002 Nov; 97(5):1315-7. View in: PubMed

Wells WJ, Arroyo H, Bremner RM, Wood J, Starnes VA. Homograft conduit failure in infants is not due to somatic outgrowth. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2002 Jul; 124(1):88-96. View in: PubMed

Horn MV, Schenkel FA, Woo MS, Starnes VA. Pediatric recipients of living donor lobar lung transplants: postoperative care. Prog Transplant. 2002 Jun; 12(2):81-5. View in: PubMed

Hamutcu R, Rowland JM, Horn MV, Kaminsky C, MacLaughlin EF, Starnes VA, Woo MS. Clinical findings and lung pathology in children with cystic fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 Apr 15; 165(8):1172-5. View in: PubMed

Terramani TT, Hood DB, Rowe VL, Peyre C, Nuno IN, Katz SG, Kohl RD, Starnes VA, Weaver FA. The utility of preoperative routine carotid artery duplex scanning in patients undergoing aortic valve replacement. Ann Vasc Surg. 2002 Mar; 16(2):163-7. View in: PubMed

Malas MB, Barr ML, Starnes VA, Shapiro S, Palmer S, Schwartz DS. Dyspnea lusoria: compression of the pulmonary artery by a Kommerell's diverticulum. Ann Thorac Surg. 2002 Jan; 73(1):312-3. View in: PubMed

Nigro JJ, Bremner RM, Fuller CB, Theisen J, Ma Y, Starnes VA. Perforating Barrett's ulcer resulting in a life-threatening esophagobronchial fistula. Ann Thorac Surg. 2002 Jan; 73(1):302-4. View in: PubMed

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