Updates on Heart Transplant Conference


Dr. Wael Al Mahmeed
Conference Chairman
Consultant Physician, Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

He is a Consultant Physician in the Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Al Mahmeed served as the Head of Cardiology at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in Abu Dhabi. He was also the Deputy Chief Medical Officer during his time at SKMC.

Dr. Wael received his medical degree from University of Southampton in Southampton, England. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and his Fellowship in Cardiology and Echocardiography at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Additionally, he is also a Fellow of The American College of Chest Physicians, The American College of Physicians, The American College of Cardiology, The European Society of Cardiology and The Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology.

Dr. Feras Bader MD, MS, FACC
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine | Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
Director| Section of Heart Failure and Transplant Heart & Vascular Institute | Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Bader served as Medical Director of the Heart Failure Program and Director of the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Fellowship Program at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, US. He was also Associate Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Utah, specializing in the field of Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation. Dr. Bader also helped establish an advanced heart failure program for the Kuwait Ministry of Health, adding valuable regional experience to his experience practicing in the US.

Dr. Bader earned his medical degree from the University Of Jordan School Of Medicine in Amman, Jordan. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine as well as a fellowship in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant at the Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut, US. He then completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University Of Utah School Of Medicine, where he also obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Bader is American Board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Echocardiography, and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology. His research interests include various aspects of ventricular assist devices, hemodynamics and cardiorenal interaction in heart failure, as well as non-invasive diagnosis of rejection in heart transplantation. He has participated in many single and multi-center trials and has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Dr. Hani Sabbour
Consultant Cardiac Electrophysiology & Advanced Heart Failure
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
He is graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in basic Medical Sciences and Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine and Surgery from Kuwait University Faculty of Medicine in 1994 with first class honors and was twice awarded His Highness the Emirs Gold Medal for academic excellence in both degrees.

He subsequently went on to train in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease at SUNY Stony Brook in New York and was elected resident and fellow of the year several times. He then completed his training in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School and was appointed Clinical Instructor in Cardiology at Harvard Medical School in 2001 as well as SUNY Stony Brook.

He is currently American Board of Internal Medicine Certified in Advanced Heart failure and Transplant Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Electrophysiology, and Board Certified in Echocardiography and Nuclear Cardiology. He has always been heavily involved in teaching and been on the teaching faculty at Brown University since 2006. He was recently promoted to Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine.

Dr Sabbour has been active in research and is currently an active PI in two international multi-centre trials in the field of pacing and ICDs and has had several publications in the field. He was also appointed the Internal medicine residency program director at Al Ain Hospital as well as Arab Board Cardiology fellowship site director. He has been in practice in Rhode Island for 11 years and recently moved to the UAE to be on staff as Consultant Cardiologist at SKMC, Mafraq Hospital, Al Ain Hospital and Tawam Hospitals. His main clinical interests are the management of Arrhythmias and Advanced CHF and Pulmonary HTN as well as Familial Hyperlipidemia cardiac imaging.

He is currently a member the Guideline Writing Group for HOFH in the Gulf and is participating in the design of a clinical education screening program for FH in Abu Dhabi UAE as well as utilization of therapeutic plasmapheresis in FH patients.
Dr. K R Balakrishnan
Director - Cardiac Sciences | Chief Cardiothoracic & Transplant Surgeon
Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai, India

Dr. K R Balakrishnan is an acknowledged expert in the management of end- stage heart failure and credited with India’s First LVAD and HVAD pump implant as destination therapy. He heads the largest heart transplant programme in India and are of the largest in Asia doing close to 40 Heart Transplants annually. He is instrumental in starting India’s First Comprehensive Centre for Heart Failure Management at Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai. He is also actively engaged with various institutions to develop Pulsatile and continuous flow LVADs (Left Ventricular Assist Device) and molecular biology of ventricular hypertrophy.

Apart from this, he has an extensive expertise in treating complex Congenital Heart Disease like switches in infancy, repair of TAPVR, common AV Canal and in use of Homograft conduits arterial. He also performs other routine cardiac surgeries such as Valvular Heart procedures including repair & replacement, aortic root replacement and Ross procedure.
Dr. Paul Jude Ramesh Thangaraj
Senior Consultant Cardio-thoracic, Heart and Lung Transplant Surgeon
Apollo Hospitals, Chennai

Dr. Paul Jude Ramesh established the heart and lung transplant program at Apollo hospitals, India. He is also the architect of the multi-disciplinary approach to advanced heart and lung disease, the Extracorporeal Life Support program and the integrated post-operative critical care at the hospital. He has performed the entire spectrum of adult cardiac, thoracic and transplant operative procedures, including heart, single lung, double lung, heart and lung transplantation, mechanical extracorporeal implantation, LV aneurysms, ischemic VSDs, multiple valve repairs and replacements, pericardiectomy and coronary artery revascularsation (beating heart, hybrid, all arterial conduits). Dr. Paul and his team have been able to achieve the best outcomes in heart transplant with an 87% long term success rate. He performed first evert Bridge To Heart (BTH) transplant  (LVAD to Heart transplant) in India and has also performed largest ECMO series(Approximately 78 ECMO’s)  in the country for acute lung failure. Till date Apollo Hospitals has performed about 57 heart transplants and 73 lung transplants, thus making it one of the busiest Heart Transplantation centers in India.

Dr. Suresh Rao K G
HOD for Cardiac Anaesthesia & Cardiac Critical Care
Fortis Malar Hospital, Adyar, Chennai

Dr. Suresh Rao is a renowned Cardiac Anesthesiologist with an experience of over 20 years and has played a vital role in cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology programs. He has been a part of cardiac surgery as well interventional cardiology teams at various reputed cardiac units across the world. His proficiency in handling complex cardiac surgeries such as heart transplant, LVAD implant, heart tumor removal, and pediatric cardiac surgeries is profound. With a special interest in heart transplants and LVAD implants, he has undergone intensive training at Bad Voyenhausen Hospital, Germany in their heart transplant unit. 

Dr. Suresh Rao, after completing his undergraduate in medicine from Government Medical College from Bellary in 1988, went on to complete his MD in Anaesthesia from the prestigious Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore in 1992. Since then he has been actively working with various reputed cardiac care units across India and abroad. A winner of the Janak Mehta Award for the best paper presentation on myocardial injury during OPCAB surgery, Dr. Rao's contribution to medical fraternity has been noteworthy. An avid researcher, he has spoken at numerous national level conferences and workshops such as !ACTS, IACTA, National conference of Pediatric Cardiological Society of India, SACA 2000, SAARC conference 2011, RSACP national conference 2011, and has presented more than 20 papers in various forums of great repute. Apart from chairing many scientific committees, he has also organized a number of workshops at RACE on the contemporary topics such as Hemodynamic Monitoring, Arrhythmias and Measurement of Continuous Cardiac Output. Dr. Rao is a life member of IACTA, !ACTS, Pediatric Cardiology Society of India (PCSI) and the Indian Society of Anesthesiologists. He has also served as the secretary of IACTA Chennai division. 

Mr. Marlon Oneid
Chief Operating Officer
Portal 724 Canada

Presently Chief Operating Officer at Portal724 Canada and member of the board, Marlon Oneid accumulated 35 years of experience in the technology direction of the telecommunications industry, education, and healthcare markets. Led various advanced technology initiatives in Canada and overseas. Developed rewarding alliances with all levels of government, research, health, and educational organizations to bring solutions to the Telehealth industry. In the past ten years as a Portal724 board member, his experience served the company well in its pioneering role as the Telehealth Transformation experts and innovators of Virtual Care Solutions.