INNOVATION FUND The Future of Academic Medicine SHOWCASE 2023 View Innovation Fund Showcase 2019 Awardees View Photos from the Event INNOVATION FUND The Future of Academic Medicine SHOWCASE 2023 View Innovation Fund Showcase 2019 Awardees View Photos from the Event

Shaf Keshavjee, OC O.Ont MD MSc FRCSC FACS


Thoracic Surgery/Lung Transplantation

Chief of Innovation, UHN
Director, Toronto Lung Transplant Program
Director, Latner Thoracic Research Laboratories
Professor of Thoracic Surgery & Biomedical Engineering
Sprott Department of Surgery
Vice Chair Innovation, Dept. Surgery, University of Toronto


University of Health Network




Shaf Keshavjee is a Thoracic surgeon and Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program. He is Chief of Innovation at University Health Network (UHN). He is Professor of Thoracic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering and Vice Chair for Innovation, Department of Surgery, Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto (UofT).

Dr Keshavjee completed his medical training at UofT in 1985. He subsequently trained in General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery at UofT followed by fellowship training at Harvard University and the University of London for airway surgery and heart-lung transplantation, respectively. He joined the faculty at UofT in 1994 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2002. Dr. Keshavjee was the inaugural holder of the Pearson-Ginsberg Chair in Thoracic Surgery and served as the Chair of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto from 2004 to 2010. He served as Surgeon-in-Chief of University Health Network from 2010-2022.

Dr Keshavjee’s clinical practice is in thoracic oncology, lung cancer and lung transplantation. He has a passion for surgery and innovative research. He is a Senior Scientist in the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, UHN. He leads a large team of researchers in a foremost pulmonary research program and is widely published in the field. His specific research interest is in lung injury related to transplantation. His current research involves the study of support systems, molecular diagnostics and gene therapy to repair organs and to engineer superior organs for transplantation.

Dr. Keshavjee has served on the board of directors of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, the Canadian Society of Transplantation, and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, where he also served as Treasurer and 102nd President. He has received numerous awards for contributions to medicine, including the George Armstrong Peters Young Investigator Award, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, the Colin Woolf Award for Excellence in Medical Education, and the Lister Prize in Surgery – the highest award for research achievement in the Department of Surgery at UofT. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and has been awarded Honorary Doctor of Science Degrees from both Ryerson University and Queen’s University. He was also awarded an Honorary Fellowship to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for his service to mankind.

He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Society for Transplantation, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Canadian Blood Services, and the American Society of Transplantation Innovation Award for contributions to the field of lung transplantation. He received the prestigious Flance-Karl Award (2021) from the American Surgical Association – awarded to a surgeon who has made a seminal contribution in basic laboratory research which has been applied to clinical surgery for his work in ex vivo organ perfusion. He also received the FNG Starr Award (2021) – the highest national award from the Canadian Medical Association recognizing a physician for their outstanding and inspiring lifetime achievement.

Dr Keshavjee has received two Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals and the national Governor General’s Award for Innovation. He was awarded the Order of Ontario in 2014 and received Canada’s highest civilian honour in 2013 with an appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Dr Keshavjee has focused his research on the study of lung transplantation. He developed the lung preservation solution that has become the world standard for lung transplantation making the operation safer and more accessible to patients with end stage lung disease worldwide. He developed the system for ex vivo lung perfusion to evaluate, repair and engineer lungs outside the body. This has doubled the number of lung transplants performed at TGH, expanded worldwide to other lung transplant centres and also to other organ assessment and treatment. He was also the first in the world to deliver human lungs by drone for transplantation. Dr Keshavjee has translated his research to change clinical practice and has spun out three companies related to the novel industry of organ preservation, repair, distribution and transplantation.

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