Wayne Tsuang, MD, MHS
Pulmonary Transplant & Critical Care Medicine
Duke University (Fellowship), University of Chicago (MD), University of Cincinnati (Residency)
Staff pulmonologist, Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Two current NIH projects. First, studying the clinical impact of patient travel distance to a lung transplant center and the role of social determinants of health. Leveraging national transplant registries, it’s interesting to see how far and to what lengths patients go through just to reach a transplant center for care. Second, I’m part of a multi-center lung transplant project (CTOT-20) studying the risk factors for chronic rejection, a major reason long term survival after lung transplant averages only 5 to 6 years. That’s well below other solid organ survival rates. We have a lot of catching up to do and collaborating across disciplines is key.
What made you decide to work in transplantation?:
Mentors. I have been fortunate for the opportunities to work with many amazing mentors throughout my training who are simultaneously amazing clinicians and thoughtful scientists. Their advice and example has guided my career. I keep in touch with many of them through AST and ATC.
What do you find to be the most valuable aspect of your work?:
I value wearing both the clinician and researcher hats because one informs the other, where clinical problems help inform research questions, and research results can advance how we look at clinical care. Jumping between patient care and research writing during the course of a day can be tricky but also very rewarding. And I directly attribute this opportunity to receiving the AST TIRN/Astellas Clinical Science Faculty Development Research Grant in 2017. As a junior researcher it gave me the confidence to keep moving forward and served as a launching pad for publications and subsequent NIH grants.
How have you served AST?:
I serve on the Conflict of Interest Committee which has been a great opportunity to learn more about the AST and all the preparations that go into each major meeting. In the past I’ve also served as an abstract reviewer, moderator and presenter at ATC. The feedback and interactions with specialists across organ transplantation is amazing. Though I’m a pulmonologist, I learn a lot listening to nephrologists, hepatologists, cardiologists, surgeons, and data scientists.
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and forever a Reds fan. One of my earliest and fondest memories is my dad taking me to watch a Cincinnati Reds baseball game. We caught a foul ball and I’ve held onto it ever since. It sits on my desk today.