2020 Governor General’s Innovation Award Laureate
About the Innovation:
The Toronto Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) System developed by Dr. Keshavjee addressed the shortage of donor lungs needed for life-saving lung transplantation. Transplant surgeons can now objectively assess donor lung function outside of the body for extended periods and then confidently decide whether to use a donor lung for transplant. Since the first clinical trial in 2008, EVLP has been adopted around the world, saving hundreds of lives of patients with end-stage lung disease. Nominated by the University Health Network.
About the Innovator:
Dr. Shaf Keshavjee is a world-renowned thoracic surgeon and the Surgeon-in-Chief, Sprott Department of Surgery at University Health Network in Toronto. He is also the Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program and the Latner Thoracic Research Laboratories—the largest lung transplant research centre in the world. Dr. Keshavjee completed his medical training at the University of Toronto in 1985 and subsequently trained in the University’s Divisions of General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. He then undertook fellowship training at Harvard University and the University of London.
Early in his career, Dr. Keshavjee developed a formulation for preserving donor lungs to improve lung function after transplantation that has since become the gold standard worldwide. Dr. Keshavjee further attracted worldwide attention for his pioneering research to recondition and repair injured donor lungs by way of his development of the Toronto Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion System. This research has made injured lungs suitable for clinical use and significantly increased the number of available donor lungs for transplant.
Dr. Keshavjee has served on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and the Canadian Society of Transplantation. He currently serves as the President-Elect of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. In 2014, Dr. Keshavjee was named an Officer of the Order of Canada—the country’s highest civilian honour recognizing outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation—for his work in saving the lives of end-stage lung disease patients.
Dr. Shaf Keshavjee MD MSc FRCSC FACS, – New Frontiers in Lung Transplant Medicine
Surgeon-in-Chief, Sprott Surgery, UHN
James Wallace McCutcheon Chair in Surgery
Director, Toronto Lung Transplant Program
Director, Latner Thoracic Research Laboratories
Professor, Division of Thoracic Surgery & Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering
Vice Chair Innovation, Department of Surgery
University of Toronto.