Greenberg Prize Awarded to Dr. Wayne Isom

24th Annual Award Honors NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Cardiothoracic Chairman and Surgeon-in-Chief

Apr 29, 2004


World-renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and educator, Dr. O. Wayne Isom has been named the recipient of The 24th Annual Maurice R. Greenberg Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center on a member of its professional staff.

The award, which recognizes Dr. Isom's many years of outstanding service to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College, consists of a $50,000 grant made possible through an endowment from Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman of the American International Group. The award presentation will be made at a gala dinner tonight at the Plaza Hotel.

Dr. Isom – Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Terry Allen Kramer Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and Cardiothoracic Surgeon-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center – is currently investigating the use of gene therapy for cardiac patients whose frail states make them poor candidates for traditional coronary artery bypass surgery. Along with his colleagues, Dr. Isom is also investigating brain protection during cardiopulmonary bypass and robotic surgical techniques.

A native of Idalou, Texas, Dr. Isom earned his M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and completed a medical internship and general surgery residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas and a cardiothoracic residency at New York University Medical Center. He then joined the faculty at NYU School of Medicine, and, in 1978, became Professor of Surgery and Director of the Cardiothoracic Training Program, a position he held for the next seven years.

In 1985, Dr. Isom was recruited to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and appointed Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery. Under his guidance, the Division became a separate Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Under his tenure, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell's cardiothoracic surgeons have completed more than 20,000 open-heart procedures.

Dr. Isom is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Heart Association's distinguished Bugher Foundation Award for Achievement in Cardiovascular Science and Medicine; the Hero With A Heart Award from the National Marfan Foundation; the first annual Humanitarian Award from the Larry King Cardiac Foundation and the NYSAE Education Research Foundation; and the highly coveted Third Year Teaching Award from Weill Cornell Medical College's medical students.