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November 23, 2001

Nancy Lawrence
Media Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 77642


Dr. Douglas Boyd leaves a legacy of innovation at London Health Sciences Centre

(LONDON, Ontario) - Dr. Douglas Boyd, cardiac surgeon and pioneer in cardiac robotics, has announced that he is leaving the London Health Sciences Centre for a position in the United States. Dr. Boyd, along with a highly skilled surgical team, first garnered international headlines when they completed the world's first robotic assisted, closed-chest cardiac single bypass procedure on a beating heart in September 1999.

Dr. Boyd has accepted a position as head of cardiac surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Miami, Florida where he will continue his research on robotic coronary artery bypass and valve surgery. His tentative departure date from London is January 2002. His acceptance of this offer is the result of a 12 month recruitment process initiated by the Cleveland Clinic.

"This is an opportunity for me to further my career as a surgeon and a scientist. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished to date in London, both as researchers and as a community. Together we have created what is - and what will continue to be - one of the finest robotic surgical centres in the world. I would like to thank my medical colleagues as well as the many citizens, civic and hospital leaders who had the vision to support the creation of a national centre for robotics research," says Dr. Boyd.

"I would especially like to thank the many patients I had the privilege to serve as a member of the LHSC cardiac surgical team. Many of these patients have been pioneers in their own right as they have contributed to the advancement of new, less traumatic surgical techniques which will help thousands of others who follow."

LHSC will continue to provide robotic assisted cardiac surgery to patients. The surgical team which works with Dr. Boyd will carry on and recruitment plans are in place.

"This program generates tremendous interest in the medical community and we routinely receive inquiries from highly skilled physicians seeking employment opportunities within the robotics program at LHSC," says Tony Dagnone, President and CEO at LHSC. "We are absolutely confident that the Department of Surgery, working in cooperation with hospital administration, will be able to successfully recruit a surgeon to come to London."

Through the use of advanced technologies, Dr. Boyd will continue to be involved in LHSC clinical and research activities.

"We are very pleased to also announce that Dr. Boyd has committed to honouring his research commitments and that he will continue to work in collaboration with LHSC and the Lawson Health Research Institute," says Dr. Joseph Gilbert, Vice-President Research at LHSC.



Dr. Douglas Boyd- Bio

Dr. Boyd did undergraduate medical training at the University of Ottawa. He completed general surgery and cardiothoracic surgical training at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and followed that with a fellowship in cardiac transplantation and mechanical assist devices. He obtained additional experience in Thoracic Transplantation at Washington University. He trained for Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Advanced Laparoscopy Training Centre in Atlanta Georgia and the Minimally Invasive Surgical Training Institute in Baltimore Maryland. He began his career at London Health Sciences Centre in July 1996.

In September 1999, he performed the world's first totally closed-chest, computer-enhanced, robot-assisted beating heart coronary bypass operation. He is currently an associate professor of surgery at The University of Western Ontario and participating in the development of a new national centre for robotic research at LHSC. He has received more than nine million dollars in peer-reviewed grants for the advancement of robotics in surgery.

Dr. Boyd has received numerous surgical and research awards including best research paper at the 1999 International Society of Minimally Invasive Surgery (ISMICS) meeting in Paris France, and best scientific presentation awards at both the 2000 ISMICS meeting in Atlanta Georgia and at the 2001 ISMICS Meeting in Munich Germany. He also received an award for the use of technology to benefit society from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. in June 2001