Peter D. Wearden, MD, PhD
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando, FL, USA
Dr. Wearden is a 1993 MD recipient of the West Virginia School of Medicine and received a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1999 from the same institution. From 1993-2001 he completed his General Surgical training at West Virginia University Hospitals where Gordon F. Murray, MD, a past president of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, was Chairman of the Department of Surgery at that time. Dr. Wearden received subsequent training in Adult Cardiac Surgery, heart and lung transplantation and ventricular assist devices at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. His pediatric and congenital heart surgery training was obtained at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada under the direction of William G. Williams, MD and Glen Van Arsdell, MD. Dr. Wearden then returned to the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery chaired by James Luketich, MD. From 2005-2015 Dr. Wearden was a faculty member in the section of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, led by Victor O. Morell, MD. During this period of time the program rose to a top 10 ranking in US News and World Report. In 2015 Dr. Wearden moved to Orlando, Florida to be the founding Chair of Department of Cardiovascular Services and founding Director of the Nemours Cardiac Center – Florida at the Nemours Children’s Hospital part of the Nemours Children’s Health System.
In addition to his clinical efforts, Dr. Wearden has been an NIH funded investigator for the past 12 years, receiving over $22 million in NIH grants. His efforts have been focused on the development of artificial hearts and lungs for children and tissue engineered solutions to congenital heart disease. He is an international thought leader in the area of mechanical support for children. A frequent consultant to industry he has served on several data safety monitoring boards (DSMB) and was part of the team that gave the FDA presentation for the only FDA approved pediatric assist device, the Berlin Heart Excor. He proctored the first Excor implant in Japan. As a testament to Dr. Wearden’s involvement in this arena he was elected the President of the American Society of Artificial Organs (ASAIO) from 2015-2106 joining pioneers in the areas of renal dialysis, cardiopulmonary bypass, artificial heart valves and ventricular assist devices in holding the Presidency of this 65 year old organization.