Expert Team

The Heart Transplant Program team at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute consists of highly collaborative experts in the filed of heart transplantation, including cardiothoracic surgeons, transplant cardiologists specially trained transplant nurse coordinators, dieticians, social workers, financial counselors and other healthcare specialists.  The team at Cedars-Sinai is among the most distinguished in the world and includes prominent leaders in the field:


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Leadership

Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD

Director Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute

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Jon Kobashigawa, MD

Associate Director Clinical Affairs, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute
Director Advanced Heart Disease

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Andrew S. Klein, MD, FACS, MBA

Director Comprehensive Transplant Center
Esther and Mark Schulman Chair Surgery and Transplantation Medicine

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Fardad Esmailian, MD

Surgical Director Heart Transplant and Ventricular Assist Device Program

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Medical Directors

Lawrence Czer, MD

Medical Director Heart Transplant Program
Co-Medical Director Cardiothoracic Database

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Jignesh Patel, MD, PhD

Co-Medical Director Heart Transplant Program

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Michele Hamilton, MD

Director Heart Failure Program

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Jaime Moriguchi, MD

Medical Director Mechanical Circulatory Support Program

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Transplant Cardiologists

Babak Azarbal, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Associate Program Director Post-Graduate Education in Interventional Cardiology

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Antoine (Alhajje) Hage, MD

Director Solid Organ Transplant Cardiology

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Michelle Maya Kittleson, MD

Director Post Graduate Medical Education in Heart Failure and Transplantation

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Transplant Surgeons

Alfredo Trento, MD

Director Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Estelle Abe and Marjorie Sanders Chair in Cardiac Surgery

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Wen Cheng, MD

Program Director Thoracic Surgery Residency
Director Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

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Danny Ramzy, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Cardiothoracic Surgery

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Heart Transplant Coordinators
  • Angela Velleca, RN, CCTC (lead coordinator)
  • Linda Piponniau, RN, CCTC (lead coordinator)
  • Malissa Johnson, RN, CCTC
  • Tina Kao, RN, CCTC
  • Brenda Kearney, RN, CCTC
  • Bryan May, RN, CCTC
  • Noelle Perry, RN
  • Jenna Rush, RN, MSN, CCTC
  • Emily Stimpson, RN, CCTC
Social Work
  • Ellen Anifantis, MSW
Financial Counselors
  • Cecilia Arevalo
  • Chris Brown