Pakistani-American Surgeon Transplants Pig Heart into A Human Patient

Pakistani-American heart surgeon Dr. Mohammad Mansoor Mohiuddin and Dr. Bartley Griffith performed the first successful genetically-modified pig heart transplant into a human patient today at University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) hospital in Baltimore, according to the University's press release. Considered one of the world’s foremost experts on transplanting animal organs, known as xenotransplantation, Muhammad M. Mohiuddin, MD, Professor of Surgery at UMSOM, joined the UMSOM faculty five years ago and established the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program with Dr. Griffith. Dr. Mohiuddin serves as the program’s Scientific/Program Director and Dr. Griffith as its Clinical Director.    

Dr. Mohammad Mansoor Mohiuddin



Dr. Mohiuddin is a 1989 graduate of the Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan. He came to the United States in the early 1990s and did a fellowship in Transplantation Biology and Immunology, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Harrison Department of Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA . 

A practicing Muslim, he believes it is acceptable to use pig organs if it helps save human life.  Some Islamic scholars have ruled that it is prohibited to use pig for organ transplants. However, almost all research in the field of xenotransplantation is now carried out using pigs. Researchers say pigs are a preferred choice because they grow fast and the size of their organs is similar to that of humans. There is a worldwide shortage of organ donors. Successful use of genetically modified pig hearts and other organs will help save lives in the absence of human donors. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for the surgery on New Year’s Eve through its expanded access (compassionate use) provision. It is used when an experimental medical product, in this case the genetically-modified pig’s heart, is the only option available for a patient faced with a serious or life-threatening medical condition. The authorization to proceed was granted in the hope of saving the patient’s life, according to a UMSOM press release. 

 “This is the culmination of years of highly complicated research to hone this technique in animals with survival times that have reached beyond nine months. The FDA used our data and data on the experimental pig to authorize the transplant in an end-stage heart disease patient who had no other treatment options,” said Dr. Mohiuddin. “The successful procedure provided valuable information to help the medical community improve this potentially life-saving method in future patients.”  

About 30% of the 800,000 doctors, or about 240,000 doctors, practicing in America are of foreign origin, according to Catholic Health Association of the United States. Predictions vary, but according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, by 2025 the U.S. will be short about 160,000 physicians. This gap will most likely be filled by more foreign doctors.

Foreign Doctors in US, UK. Source: OECD



As of 2013, there were over 12,000 Pakistani doctors, or about 5% of all foreign physicians and surgeons, in practice in the United States.  Pakistan is the third largest source of foreign-trained doctors. India tops with 22%, or 52,800 doctors. It is followed by the Philippines with 6%, or 14,400 foreign-trained doctors. India and Pakistan also rank as the top two sources of foreign doctors in the United Kingdom.

Over half a million Pakistani-Americans constitute the 7th largest Asian ethnic group in the United States. Pakistani-Americans are young, well-educated and prosperous. Median age for Pakistani-Americans is 31.7 years. 60% have at least a bachelor's degree. Their median household income is $87,510 a year.  Last year, the remittances from Pakistani-Americans jumped 58% to $2.75 billion.

Here's a video clip of Dr. Mohiuddin describing the procedure and the science behind genetic modification of pig heart for human transplant:

https://youtu.be/D00T14balpI

 


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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Excerpts of "Our Man", biography of late Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), by George Packer

Holbrooke died in December 13,2010 after his aorta ruptured.

His emergency heart surgery was performed by Dr. Farzad Najam, a Pakistani-American heart surgeon at George Washington Hospital in Washington DC.

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Hillary Clinton’s doctor, Jehan El-Bayoumi, worked at George Washington and heard from a Clinton aide that an important person was coming their way. A young cardiologist named Monica Mukherjee met the ambulance at the doors and led the gurney through the emergency room to radiology.

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Mukherjee called the hospital’s chief cardiac surgeon, who was fifteen minutes away. “You need to come right now. It’s a VIP.” “Who is it?” “His name is (Richard) Holbrooke.” He was wheeled into the triage trauma bay and a curtain was drawn around the gurney. Feldman was on his left side, holding his hand, and LaVine was at the foot of the bed. Mukherjee was trying to get a catheter into his right wrist to monitor blood pressure, but he was in such turmoil that she couldn’t do it. His skin was cold and clammy and he looked as if he was about to pass out, but Mukherjee was struck by how he dominated the room—not just his size but his sheer presence, the light in his ice-blue eyes.

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They wheeled him to the elevator and took him up to the second floor. He kept instructing Feldman. “Tell Mort Janklow. No, wait till the operation is over, and don’t release a press statement till it’s over.” In the intensive care unit the surgeon introduced himself. “Mr. Holbrooke, I am Dr. Farzad Najam, the cardiac surgeon here.” “Any Indian-American doctor is okay with me,” Holbrooke said. Still putting on. Najam and Mukherjee exchanged a look. Najam was a Pakistani American, from Lahore. He knew about Holbrooke’s work. “Just tell me it’s going to be okay.” “Mr. Holbrooke, you have an acute aortic dissection—the aorta has ripped. It’s a surgical emergency and we need to take you to the operating room.” Najam would have to cut through the breastbone, put him on a bypass pump, and replace the aorta and perhaps the valve.


Packer, George. Our Man . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Riaz Haq said…
The following article from the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) says there are 14,352 Pakistan-i-American doctors of in America.


https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2767883

Prevalence of International Medical Graduates From Muslim-Majority Nations in the US Physician Workforce From 2009 to 2019

John R. Boulet, PhD; Robbert J. Duvivier, MD, PhD; William W. Pinsky, MD


Of 1 065 606 physicians in the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile, 263 029 (24.7%) were IMGs, of whom 48 354 were citizens of Muslim-majority countries at time of entry to medical school, representing 18.4% of all IMGs. Overall, 1 in 22 physicians in the US was an IMG from a Muslim-majority nation, representing 4.5% of the total US physician workforce. More than half of IMGs from Muslim-majority nations (24 491 [50.6%]) come from 3 countries: Pakistan (14 352 [29.7%]), Iran (5288 [10.9%]), and Egypt (4851 [10.0%]). The most prevalent specialties include internal medicine (10 934 [23.6%]), family medicine (3430 [7.5%]), pediatrics (2767 [5.9%]), and psychiatry (2251 [4.8%]), with 18 229 (38.1%) practicing in primary care specialties. The number of applicants for Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates certification from Muslim-majority countries increased from 2009 (3227 applicants) to 2015 (4244 applicants), then decreased by 2.1% in 2016 to 4254 applicants, 4.3% in 2017 to 4073 applicants, and 11.5% in 2018 to 3604 applicants. Much of this decrease could be attributed to fewer citizens from Pakistan (1042 applicants in 2015 to 919 applicants in 2018), Egypt (493 applicants in 2015 to 309 applicants in 2018), Iran (281 applicants in 2015 to 182 applicants in 2018), and Saudi Arabia (337 applicants in 2015 to 163 applicants in 2018) applying for certification.

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