Health & wellness

Dr. John Byrne to return to Boston to lead Brigham cardiac surgery division

Dr. John Byrne has been named chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Byrne comes from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee, where he is chairman of cardiac surgery at the medical school and leads the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute. He replaces Dr. Chip Bolman, who has led the division since 2005 and will continue in his practice at the hospital and in global health projects, including conducting surgery and educating providers in Rwanda.

Byrne’s “visionary leadership and breadth of experience encompasses the entire spectrum of cardiac surgery,” Dr. Michael Zinner, chairman of the Department of Surgery, said in an e-mail announcement to staff.

While Byrne was at Vanderbilt, the hospital built a “hybrid” operating room, combining a standard operating setup with new imaging technologies. The Brigham subsequently built its own in 2008. Byrne’s research focus includes determining which patients are most likely to benefit from major heart procedures and testing outcomes of the newest approaches to surgery.


Byrne earned his medical degree in 1987 from Boston University and trained at Brigham and Women’s and at hospitals affiliated with the University of Illinois. He was Brigham’s chief resident of cardiothoracic surgery from 1995 to 1997 and then became a staff member. He was associate chief of cardiac surgery when he left for Vanderbilt in 2004.

Byrne will return to Boston and start in his new role on April 1, 2013.

Chelsea Conaboy can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @cconaboy.