Joseph “Jay”B. Zwischenberger, MD, FACS

Department of Surgery, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY, USA

Johnston-Wright Professor and Chairman of Surgery
Professor of Pediatrics, Biomedical Engineering, and Diagnostic Radiology
Surgeon-in-Chief, UK HealthCare

Dr. Zwischenberger is a practicing cardiothoracic surgeon and clinician-scientist who has earned international recognition for his work in extracorporeal gas exchange in the treatment of severe respiratory failure. His research has focused upon novel therapies and devices for the treatment of diseased and damaged lungs, including work on an artificial lung.

Specialty interests: Development of the artificial lung, blood oxygenation and gas exchange devices, therapeutic hyperthermia, ambulatory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, left ventricular assist device, heart and lung disease.

Education and training: Dr. Zwischenberger graduated from the University of Kentucky (UK) cum laude in 1974 and obtained a medical degree cum laude from UK College of Medicine in 1977. Dr. Zwischenberger completed his general surgery residency and cardiothoracic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. He also completed a cardiac surgery fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and critical care training from the University of Michigan, where he was mentored by Dr. Robert Bartlett. Prior to returning to the University of Kentucky in 2007, Dr. Zwischenberger was a faculty member at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas for almost 20 years, where he served as Professor of Surgery, Medicine, and Radiology. 

Publications and speaking: Dr. Zwischenberger has authored or co-authored more than 370 peer-reviewed publications, 88 book chapters, and seven books. He holds 5 patents, has several patents pending, serves on several NIH study sections, and is editor emeritus of the ASAIO Journal. He is a frequently invited speaker at medical meetings in the United States and around the world.

Service and teaching: Another role Dr. Zwischenberger has relished throughout his career is as a teacher and mentor to numerous medical students, interns and residents.  He developed a model for teaching and assessing residents in the operating room that helps guide faculty and resident interaction in the OR, and designates a resident’s earned level of autonomy for a given procedure, which has been published as the “Zwisch Me” model and adapted into a phone app known as SIMPL. He has received many awards and honors for his contributions to education, including The Association for Surgical Education Award for Excellence in Innovation.

National professional associations: Dr. Zwischenberger belongs to many professional societies including the American Association for Thoracic Surgeon, American College of Surgeons, American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, International Society for Artificial Internal Organs, Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, and Society of University Surgeons. He serves on numerous committees and holds leadership positions in many of these societies.

Terms of Appointment: Oct 2018 - Sept 2020