John H. Calhoon, MD

Professor and Chair, Cardiothoracic Surgery
President's Council Chair for Excellence in Surgery

Dr. Calhoon obtained his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas in 1981. He is Board Certified in Thoracic Surgery and Congenital Cardiac Surgery. He joined the group in 1989 and is Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He was appointed Director of the University Heart and Vascular Institute in 2015. His current interests include complex congenital heart surgery; lung transplantation; complex adult cardiac surgery; the Ross procedure; less invasive cardiac surgery, and improving education and patient care. Nationally, he has served as President of the TSDA, and President of the STSA. He is a Past President of the TSF, a past member of the JCTSE Board, a former Director of the STS, and served as Chair of the ABTS. Locally, he has been Chairman of the Dominion Country Club, and President of the local AHA affiliate. He is a founder and emeritus Board Member of HeartGift San Antonio, an organization that sponsors charitable lifesaving congenital heart repair on kids from around the globe. Aside from the humbling professional honors above, he is very proud to have been selected as an Outstanding Young Texas Ex from the University of Texas. His greatest success was in finding, successfully courting, and marrying his wife, Ms Sarah Lucero, an award winning local television journalist and anchor who has recently transitioned to a career as an expert in Fitness and Nutrition. They are proud of their children Satchel, Stetson, Seve and James.

Research interests:

As an academic clinical surgeon with an interest in several areas, research has always been tied to these. Upon joining the faculty, blessed with mentors such as Fred Grover and Kent Trinkle, effort was directed to questions surrounding lung transplantation clinically and to collaborating with the animal lab of Dr. Charles Bryan as we looked at question of lung reperfusion/ischemia response and ways to prevent it clinically. This area of interest persists as we continue to expand the clinical success of our lung transplant program under the direction of Division Head and Surgical Lung Transplant Chair, Dr. Scott Johnson. A few years later, a strong interest in congenital heart surgery and ties to the UT Austin Biomedical Engineering department, led to a collaboration with Dr. Akif Ündar whose research our Department sponsored with clinical revenue and grants from the private sector in terms of CPB support equipment and a pulsatile pump that we helped develop. This led to very fruitful collaboration with Dr. Ross Ungerleider at Duke by Dr Ündar, Dr. Ungerleider and I to investigate pulsatile bypass in a neonatal piglet model. More recently, our group has benefited from the support of a number of grateful donors that has led to an active Rodent Pulmonary Transplant effort. In partnership with Pulmonary Medicine, and researchers from UT Austin, we have piloted the use of inhaled nanoparticle immunosuppression techniques. This work, led by Dr. Johnson, is excellent and appears to have NIH funding potential which we are making efforts to achieve. Other areas of interest are an active clinical research effort led by Dr. Clint Baisden and investigation of the correlation of IL-18 with myocardial hypertrophy. Our group actively publishes on education and in a number of other areas and seeks collaboration with basic sciences colleagues.

Clinical interests:

Congenital Heart Surgery, Complex Adult and Adult Congenital Heart Surgery, Masterful Adult Cardiac Surgery, Tracheal Reconstruction, Pediatric Pulmonary Surgery, Pulsatile CPB, Education, judicious use of the Ross Procedure, Heart and Lung Transplantation, Less Invasive Cardiac Surgical techniques, Leadership Development



Holler B, Forgione DA, Baisden CE, Abramson DA, Calhoon JH. Interactive Financial Decision Support for Clinical Research Trials. J Health Care Finance 2011, Apr;37(3):25-37.

Woodward CS, Son MG, Calhoon JH, Michalek JE, Husain SA. Sternal wound infections in pediatric congenital cardiac surgery: a survey of incidence and preventative practice. Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2011, Mar,91:799-804 Reddy VS, Calhoon JH. Cardiothoracic Surgery Education: The Ideal Platform for Tomorrow's Surgeon, Texas Heart Institute Journal 2010, Nov;37(6):656-657

Propper BW, Gifford SM, Calhoon JH, McNeil JD. Wartime thoracic injury: perspectives in modern warfare. Ann Thorac Surg 2010 Apr;89(4):1032-1035.

Fann JI, Calhoon JH, Carpenter AJ, Merrill WH, Brown JW, Poston RS, Kalani M, Murray GF, Hicks GL,Feins RH. Simulation in coronary artery anastomosis early in cardiothoracic surgical residency training: the Boot Camp experience. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2010 May;139(5):1275-1281.

Salazar JD, Coleman, RD, Griffith, S, McNeil JD, Young, H, Calhoon JH, Serrano, F, DiGeronimo R. Brain preservation with selective cerebral perfusion for operations requiring circulatory arrest: protection at 25C is similar to 18C with shorter operating times, Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2009 Sep;36(3):524-531.

Salazar, JD, Coleman RD, Griffith S, McNeil JD, Steigelman M, Young H, Hensler B, Dixon P, Calhoon JH, Serrano F, DiGeronoimo R. Selective cerebral perfusion: real-time evidence of brain oxygen and energy metabolism preservation. Ann Thorac Surg 2009 Jul;88(1):162-169.

Reddy VS, Harskamp RE, van Ginkel MW, Calhoon JH, Baisden CE, Kim IS, Valente AJ, Chandrasekar B. Interleukin-18 stimulates fibronectin expression in primary human cardiac fibroblasts via PI3K-Akt-dependent NF-kappaB activation. J Cell Physiol 2008 Jun;215(3):697-707.

Harskamp, VE, McNeil JD, van Ginkel MW, Bastos RB, Baisden CE, Calhoon JH. Postoperative internal thoracic artery spasm after coronary artery bypass grafting. Ann Thorac Surg 2008 Feb;85(2):647-649

Bastos R, Calhoon JH, Baisden CE. Flail chest and pulmonary contusion. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2008 Jan;20(1)39-45

Martinez D, Johnson S, Miller OL, Calhoon JH. Acute Traumatic Aortic Transection, In: Kaiser LR, Kron, IL, Spray TL. Mastery of Cardiothoracic Surgery, 2nd Edition, Chapter 59, Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2007

Johnson SB; Deel J; Khandhar S; Presser E; Calhoon JH: Transplantation Emergencies: Cardiac and Lung Transplantation In: Johnson SB; Deel J; Khandhar S; Presser E; Calhoon JH: Essential Emergency Medicine: For the Healthcare Practitioner, Steven W. Slayer, Gen. Ed. Fort Worth, TX: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. p. 1147 - 1167

Khandhar S. Johnson SB Calhoon JH. Overview of Thoracic Trauma in the United States Thoracic Surgery Clinics: Thoracic Trauma 2007 Feb;17(1):1-10.


2011 – Tiki Award winner, STSA, Outstanding slide of meeting
2011 - Chair, American Board of Thoracic Surgery
Numerous top doctors, top surgeons, and outstanding doctor awards – nearly two decades - local, regional, and national
2005 - Honored as the March 2005 National Kidney Foundation of South and Central Texas, Gift of Life Gala Award
2009 – Founded and selected Chair – Department of CT Surgery, UTHSCSA
2004 - UTHSCSA Calhoon President's Council Chair for Excellence in Surgery
2004 - Elected Director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery
2004 - UTHSCSA Presidential Clinical Excellence Award
2002 - Osler-Abbott Award- STSA meeting (voted most notable discussant at annual meeting)
2000 - "Outstanding Faculty" Award, UTHSCSA Medical Class of 2000
2000 - Nominated candidate for the "2000 Presidential Award for Excellence" in teaching
1997 - Gender Equity Award for Clinical Medical Education Finalist
1997 - Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award (one of four University Texas alumni selected / year to honorary status)
1995 - "One of the Most Productive Members" of The Society of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery, Aldo R. Castaneda Society
1994 - Selected as Faculty recipient to AOA membership by UTHSCSA Chapter
1992 - Outstanding Service, American Heart Association
1986 - Outstanding Resident, Graduating Class Medical School
1986 - J. Bradley Aust Prize Essayist, Aust Society Meeting

Professional societies:

American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Alpha Omega Alpha Society, Texas Epsilon Chapter, American College of Surgeons - Fellow, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Aldo R. Castaneda Society, Aust Society