Magdi Yacoub Biography
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Dr. Magdi Yacoub, Sir Magdi Habib Yacoub, Sir Magdi Habib Yacoub, FRS
Born Country: Egypt
Born in: Belbin, Ashraqya, Egypt
Famous as: Heart Surgeon
Founder/Co-Founder: Chain of Hope (Charity Organisation)
education: Faculty of Medicine Cairo University, Royal College of Surgeons of England
awards: Knight Bachelor (1992)
WHO Prize for Humanitarian Services (2003)
Order of the Nile (2011)
Order of Merit (2014)
Magdi Yacoub is one of the world's most respected cardiac surgeons. Born in Egypt, he decided early on that he wanted to become a doctor and help others. He studied medicine at Cairo University and thereafter moved to the U.K. Most of his innovations and pioneering work in the field of heart surgery came during his stint in the hospitals in U.K. He is well known for his innovations in tissue engineering, myocardial regeneration, and transplant immunology. He has not only been a top-rated heart surgeon, but has also given back to the next generation of doctors as a professor at the prestigious Imperial College in London. He has written over 1,000 articles and co-authored several books on the heart surgery techniques he has developed. He has also founded a children's charity called ‘Chain of Hope’, in order to help children in war-torn and developing countries receive much needed cardiac care. When not practicing medicine, he likes to spend time with his family which includes his wife Marianne, and their three grown children.
- Magdi Yacoub was born on November 16, 1935 in Belbin, Ashraqya, Egypt. His father was a general surgeon and inspired him to become a doctor.
- At the age of four, he witnessed the death of his aunt due to heart disease. Her death, in her early 20s, inspired him to specialize in heart surgery.
- He entered the Cairo University College of Medicine at the age of 15 on a full scholarship and graduated in 1957, qualifying as a doctor.
- In 1962, he moved to London and worked in leading hospitals in cardiac surgery for the next 40 years. Considered a pioneer in his field, he is hailed as one of the world's most respected cardiac surgeons.
- In 1968, he took a short break to teach in the United States. He spent a year as an associate professor at the University of Chicago. He returned to London a year later to resume his work in the UK.
- Upon his return to the UK, he began work as a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Harefield Hospital. He served in this capacity from 1969 –2001.
- In 1986, while still working at Harefield Hospital, he became a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Royal Brompton Hospital. In the same year he was appointed as a professor of Cardiothoracic surgery at the National Heart & Lung Institute.
- During his career, he supervised over 60 research students in the areas of tissue engineering, myocardial regeneration, stem cell biology, end stage heart failure, and transplant immunology.
- In 1995, he founded the UK-based children's charity ‘Chain of Hope’ which treats children with correctible cardiac conditions from war-torn and developing countries. Chain of Hope has also established training and research programs in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries.
- Magdi retired from his work in London-area hospitals in 2001 and spends his time recruiting doctors from around the world for the UK's National Health Services. He has also devoted significant time to his charity Chain of Hope.
- As one of the world's leading cardiac surgeons, he pioneered techniques that include tissue engineering heart valves, novel left ventricular assist devices, and wireless sensors for heart patients. In addition, he developed a procedure for switching heart vessels of babies born with congenital heart defects.
- In 2008, he established the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundaition. The foundation was able to establish the Aswan Heart Centre in 2009 to provide free medical services for those in need.
- In addition to his heart foundation, he founded the Magdi Yacoub Research Network in 2008. The network helped create the Qatar Cardiovascular Research Center in collaboration with the Qatar Foundation and Hamad Medical Corporation.
- Dr. Yacoub was knighted in 1992 by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to medicine and surgery.
- In 1998, he was awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences for his work and pioneering techniques. In that same year, the Texas Heart Institute presented him with the Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement in Cardiovascular Disease.
- He was awarded a second Fellowship Award in 1999 from the Royal Society. The UK Secretary of State presented him with a Lifetime Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to medicine in 1999.
- Other awards include the WHO Prize for Humanitarian Services (Geneva), Medal of Merit from the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation.
- Magdi is married to Marianne, who is of German descent. They have three children. His oldest daughter, Lisa, works as the UK coordinator for Chain of Hope, while his youngest daughter is a doctor specializing in tropical medicine.
- He established the largest heart & lung transplant program where more than 2,500 transplant operations have been performed. He has written over 1,000 articles and co-authored several books pertaining to his work.
- His colleagues believe his greatest contributions to cardiac surgery have been in the field of cardiopulmonary transplantation and in the new techniques he has developed for congenital abnormalities.
- In 1974, he performed the first open heart surgery in Nigeria.
- In 1980, he performed a heart transplant on Derrick Morris who became the longest surviving heart transplant patient. He survived 25 years post surgery.
- In his spare time, he raises orchids and listens to Bach.
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