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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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
Associate Medical Director Mechanical Circulatory Support Program

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Jignesh Patel, MD, PhD

Co-Medical Director Heart Transplant Program

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Michele Hamilton, MD

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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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David H. Chang, MD

Associate Director Postgraduate Medical Education in Heart Failure and Transplantation

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Dael Geft, MD


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Antoine (Alhajje) Hage, MD

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Michelle Maya Kittleson, MD

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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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Francisco A. Arabia, MD

Surgical Director Mechanical Circulatory Support Program

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Wen Cheng, MD

Director Surgical Lung Transplant Program

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Danny Ramzy, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Surgical Director Lung Transplant Program
Director Extracorporeal Life Support Program

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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

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