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W. Randolph Chitwood Jr., M.D., FACS, FRCS (Eng)
Senior Associate Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs
Director, East Carolina Heart Institute
Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
Greenville, North Carolina

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Randolph Chitwood is both a native of Virginia and a naturalized North Carolinian. He is the son and grandson of "Southwestern Virginia mountain doctors", who set the guidelines for his professional life. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and received his medical degree from the University of Virginia. After medical school, he completed the surgical residency at Duke University Medical Center under Dr. David C. Sabiston, the most influential surgical educator of this era, At Duke he spent 10 years training in general and cardiothoracic surgery, as well as basic science research. He was the first house staff member at Duke to be selected to Alpha Omega Alpha. After his chief residency at Duke in 1984, he was selected to begin and head the new cardiac surgery program at the East Carolina University School of Medicine. Because of his prolific publication record as a resident and clinical acumen, his initial appointment was as a full Professor of Surgery. Except for a two-year hiatus as the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Kentucky, he has spent his entire career at East Carolina University, where he, also, served as Chairman of the Department of Surgery from 1995 to 2003. In July 2003, he was promoted to Senior Associate Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences to be in charge of the development of a new specialty hospital and research institute - The East Carolina Heart Institute. This Institute has come to fruition and includes a new integrated Department of Cardiovascular Sciences as well as a 200 million dollar heart hospital, outpatient, research, and education center. The heart institute now performs over 1000 cardiac surgical, 2500 interventional, and 4000 diagnostic catheter-based procedures yearly. The laboratories in the institute have been responsible for training residents and supporting established investigators alike. Dr. Chitwood is a leading international pioneer in minimally invasive and robotic heart surgery. The Robotic Surgical Center at East Carolina University has trained over 350 surgeons worldwide. He has personally performed the first robotic heart operations in ten countries. Currently, Dr. Chitwood's research activities relate to myocardial preservation, simulation in surgery, and endoscopic/robotic cardiac surgery. He was the principle investigator of the FDA robotic mitral valve trials that led to approval for this use in the United States.

He is a member of 25 professional societies and has been on many of the most important committees in each of these societies. He is the immediate Past President of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the largest cardiothoracic surgery professional organization in the world. He is Past-President and a founding member of the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery as well as past-president of the Society for Heart Valve Disease, the North Carolina Chapter of the American Heart Association, and past Vice President of the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association.

He has served on the editorial boards of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, the Journal of Cardiac Surgery, the Journal of Heart Valve Disease, the Asian Annals of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, CTS Net, the Heart Surgery Forum, Chest, the American Heart Journal, and the Journal of Robotic Surgery. Currently, he is on the editorial board of the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery. He also reviews for Circulation, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In the past, he has authored over 175 peer reviewed scientific and clinical articles, as well as many book chapters and several monographs. He is in the process of writing a book entitled, Atlas of Robotic Cardiothoracic Surgery.

He is a busy, active cardiac surgeon and has special expertise in complex valvular surgery, including mitral repair as well as aortic valve and cardiac rhythm surgery. He continually writes and lectures internationally on innovative techniques in minimally invasive and robotic cardiac surgery. He has given over 50 visiting professor and invited lectures. Today, he is the world's leader in robotic mitral valve surgery.

In 2003, he was elected to Fellowship in the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons of England, an honor to which few Americans are selected. In 2004, he received the O. Max Gardner Award from the University of North Carolina Board of Governors that recognizes a faculty member of the 16 system institutions, who during the scholastic year, made the greatest contribution to the "welfare of the human race." It is the only statewide honor given to faculty members by the UNC Board of Governors. In 2005 he received the national Mended Hearts - Harken Award, which recognizes excellence in the field of cardiovascular medicine. In the same year he received the National Phi Kappa Phi Scholar Award for outstanding teaching, research, practice, and service. In May of 2009, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and in June 2009, he was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

His lifelong avocations have been photography, amateur radio, trout fishing, and antiquarian medical bibliophilia. He has made productive photographic expeditions to many interesting places including Tibet, Nepal, Syria, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, and South Africa. Many images from these trips have been shown publicly through his salon photographic exhibitions. He has been married for forty-one years to Tamara Chitwood. They have two children, Anne and Randolph. He has one grandson who he calls "Curious Keller" - he says he will be the new generation of inquisitive and innovative thinkers.

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