Imperial College London

Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub has been awarded the prestigious Lister Medal


Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub

Sir Magdi Yacoub has been awarded the Lister Medal for his contribution to surgical science.

Magdi Yacoub performed the first heart and lung transplant in Britain in 1983 before going on to make several other landmark contributions to his field. Sir Magdi will receive the Lister Medal at the Royal College of Surgeons later this year when he will deliver the Lister Oration. 

On being notified of his award, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, OM said: “I am honoured to receive this award and hope that it will inspire other surgeons to become involved in research. In order for medicine to progress, we need surgeons to be at the forefront of research, working alongside academics.

“I have had a wonderful career and the privilege of treating patients of all ages – from babies to the very elderly - who had a variety of heart conditions. A lot of the research and work I have undertaken has relied on teamwork and for that I have to thank my talented and committed NHS colleagues." 

Amongst Sir Magdi Yacoub’s list of career achievements are helping to re-establish heart transplantation in the UK in 1980 and founding the ‘Ross Procedure’ to replace a patient’s diseased aortic valve with a pulmonary valve.  He also pioneered a technique for ‘switching’ the heart vessels of babies born with transposition of the great arteries due to a congenital heart defect. Born, educated and medically trained in Egypt, Magdi Yacoub moved to London, Chicago and then back to London, where he became a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon

The Lister Medal and Oration is considered the most distinguished award in surgery in Great Britain and Ireland and was founded as a lasting mark of respect to the surgeon, Joseph Lister, whose work on antiseptics established the basis of modern sterile surgery.  

Sir Magdi commented on his award "It is an honour and a privilege to receive the Lister Medal. Cardiac Surgery today offers unprecedented opportunities to alleviate suffering around the world particularly when linked to an academic program of research at a global institution like Imperial."

Miss Clare Marx, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: “Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub is renowned around the world for being an incredibly skilful cardiac and transplant surgeon. He has also made an exceptional contribution to medical research. The Lister Medal is one of the highest accolades a surgeon can receive and I’m sure that colleagues - and generations of patients he has treated - will agree he is a very deserving recipient.”


Ms Helen Johnson

Ms Helen Johnson
National Heart & Lung Institute

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