Jon Kobashigawa, MD

Associate Director, Clinical Affairs, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute
Director, Advanced Heart Disease
Director, Heart Transplant Program
DSL/Thomas D. Gordon Chair in Heart Transplantation Medicine

 
At the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Jon Kobashigawa, MD, is Associate Director for Clinical Affairs, Director of Advanced Heart Disease and Director of the Heart Transplant Program. In addition, he holds the DSL/Thomas D. Gordon Chair in Heart Transplantation Medicine. He also is a clinical professor of medicine and cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease.

After earning his bachelor's at Stanford University, Dr. Kobashigawa earned his medical degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He performed his internship and residency in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in cardiology at the UCLA Medical Center.

Dr. Kobashigawa specializes in heart transplantation, advanced heart failure, cardiac catheterization, athletic heart syndrome, sudden cardiac death and valvular heart disease.

Dr. Kobashigawa is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the heart transplant field. He is a past President of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation and was the Program Chairman for the 2000 International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation Scientific Meetings in Osaka, Japan, where the most recent cutting-edge research in clinical and basic science were presented and discussed. Dr Kobashigawa served as Chairman of the American College of Cardiology Committee on Heart Failure and Transplantation, which has significant influence on the national health policies of the United States. As a member of the National United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Thoracic Committee from 2000 to 2002, Dr. Kobashigawa participated in shaping national policies on heart transplant priority listing, alternative heart transplant waiting lists, and changes in the UNOS lung allocation policy.

Dr. Kobashigawa has published over 200 peer reviewed articles, chapters and monographs in the field of heart transplantation and has chaired several multi-center heart transplant studies. His work with pravastatin (a cholesterol lowering medication also known as statins) in heart transplant patients, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1995 and was the first study to demonstrate a significant cholesterol-independent effect of statins which resulted in survival benefit in transplant recipients. This work has been referred to as a landmark study from which many other studies have since been undertaken to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms of action of statins.

Dr. Kobashigawa led the first multi-center heart transplant study from 28 heart transplant centers from North America, Europe and Australia in demonstrating the efficacy of a new anti-rejection medication, mycophenolate mofetil, and published this in the journal Transplantation. He published again in the New England Journal of Medicine his work on cardiac rehabilitation in heart transplant patients, which led to the widespread coverage of rehabilitation for heart transplant patients by insurance carriers. Dr. Kobashigawa also has research interests in the treatment of transplant atherosclerosis monitored with intracoronary ultrasound. His recent multi-center study published in the journal Circulation validates the use of intracoronary ultrasound to assess the efficacy of newer immunosuppressive medications in reducing transplant atherosclerosis. In April 2008, Dr Kobashigawa organized and chaired the International Consensus Conference on Sensitization in Patients Awaiting Heart Transplantation which is one of the foremost issues limiting heart transplantation.

Dr. Kobashigawa lectures on cardiac transplantation at universities around the world, and works with young investigators in the Cardiology Fellowship Core Curriculum, where he also has an important role as a discussant of clinical implications of basic research.