Forbess appointed to Pogue Chair

Dr. Joseph M. Forbess, who recently joined UT Southwestern as chairman of the pediatric cardiothoracic surgery division, has been appointed first holder of the Pogue Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Research.
The chair was endowed by the Pogue Foundation in 2002 to support the clinical research of the head of pediatric cardiac surgery at UT Southwestern and Children's Medical Center Dallas.

"I am extremely excited by this opportunity," said Dr. Forbess, who also serves as director of cardiothoracic surgery at Children's. "I hope we can leverage the unified strengths of UT Southwestern and Children's so that we can create a pediatric cardiovascular program of national and international prominence."

Dr. Forbess' special area of surgical interest is high-risk newborn heart surgery. This involves intervening in, as he adds, "what might be considered the most important hours of a person's life. This is a special privilege.

"It is delicate, and can be tedious work," said Dr. Forbess, associate professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. "But I really enjoy treating these very young patients, and I am very gratified by the opportunity to help families emerge from these difficult situations."

One of his goals will be to develop an advanced fellowship where recently trained pediatric cardiac surgical specialists come to UT Southwestern for an added year of research and training and a chance to establish their academic careers.

"A trainee could pursue a 12-month clinical subspecialty fellowship followed by an additional 12 months of protected research," Dr. Forbess said. "It is my hope that the research fellowship will attract the kind of individuals who have aspirations to move the field forward. My goal is to develop a division that delivers top-flight surgical care, creates and evaluates new treatment strategies and pursues answers to fundamental questions in the field."

Dr. Forbess' previous appointment was as an assistant professor of surgery at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, where he was also vice chairman of cardiothoracic surgery at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  He was previously an associate in cardiovascular surgery at Children's Hospital, Boston and an instructor in surgery at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Forbess earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at Harvard in 1986 and 1990, respectively. He was chief resident in the Department of Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine and completed a fellowship in thoracic surgery there.