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Montefiore in the News

April 13, 2011

Francois Lacour-GayetNew York City, NY (April 13, 2011) - François Lacour-Gayet, MD, has been appointed Chief, Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center, Co-Director of the Pediatric Heart Center at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore and Professor of Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Over the course of his 25-year career, Dr. Lacour-Gayet has earned an international reputation as a leader in performing complex procedures to correct congenital heart defects.

"My vision is to help build a pediatric heart program at Montefiore that ranks among the top ten in the country," says Dr. Lacour-Gayet. "With our expert team of cardiologists and nurses, we will continue to develop a patient-centered program with optimal hospital resources from diagnosis to surgical repair to heart transplantation.  The Pediatric Heart Center at Montefiore will pursue a goal of excellence with team members sharing strong values of compassion, empathy and commitment, as well as continue to advance medical research and become a teaching center attracting world class trainees in pediatric heart surgery." 

"Dr. Lacour-Gayet transforms our capabilities in pediatric heart surgery to an extraordinary level matched by few institutions. He is a true international expert in newborn and complex pediatric heart surgery," said Robert E. Michler, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief, Professor and Chairman of Department of Surgery and the Department Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center.

Dr. Lacour-Gayet joins Montefiore from the Childrens Hospital in Denver, Colorado where he served as Chief of the Section of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Co-Director of the Children's Heart Institute and Professor of Surgery at the University of Colorado. His previous international appointments have included Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Eppendorf University Hospital, Hamburg, Germany, and Head of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the Hospital Marie Lannelongue of the University of Paris.

After obtaining his medical degree at Paris-Oeust University, Dr. Lacour-Gayet did post-doctoral work at the Medical University of Paris. He was a research fellow in transplantation at Loma Linda University Hospital in California and a visiting surgeon at The Mayo Clinic, at Stanford University Hospital, and with Dr. Denton Cooley at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. He has been named a Laureate of the University of Paris, and received the World Award of Young Investigators in 2001 at the World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery in Toronto. He was named to the French Legion of Honor in 2008.

Dr. Lacour-Gayet's surgical expertise includes: complex neonatal cardiac surgery, biventricular repair, single ventricle circulation, minimally invasive pediatric heart surgery and transplantation. He is world expert in the arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries, inventor of the Aristotle Score that is used world-wide to evaluate surgical results and a frequent invited speaker in prominent scientific meetings worldwide.  Dr. Lacour-Gayet's achievements have focused on pioneering surgical repair in complex cardiac diseases, in developing an artificial heart for a failing single ventricle and on the development of a cardiac probe to measure cardiac output in infants. Also known for his international humanitarian work, Dr. Lacour-Gayet is President of the international humanitarian foundation, Surgeons of Hope ( He has performed and taught pediatric cardiac surgery in many developing countries, and most recently in Nicaragua and Haiti.