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Faculty & Staff

Vaughn A. Starnes, M.D.

Vaughn A. Starnes, M.D.
Distinguished Professor and Chair,
H. Russell Smith Foundation
Chair, Department of Surgery,
Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California

Vaughn A. Starnes, M.D., is Hastings Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and the Director of the Cardiothoracic Residency Training Program at the Keck School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and did his general surgery training at Vanderbilt University, where he also completed two years of research in cardiothoracic physiology and pharmacology.

Dr. Starnes completed two years at Stanford University as a resident in cardiovascular surgery, and one year as chief resident in cardiac transplantation. He accepted a fellowship in pediatric cardiovascular surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in London. When he returned to Stanford, he was appointed director of Stanford's heart-lung transplantation program. He joined USC in July 1992 and was appointed Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in 1997.

Dr. Starnes has an ongoing interest in congenital heart disease, heart, lung, heart-lung and living related lung transplantation, coronary bypass grafting, and repair and replacement of the valves of the heart. He is also involved in research, helping develop gene therapy techniques to address the problem of restenosis following balloon angioplasty.

Spotlight on Dr. Starnes at Children's Hospital Los Angeles


  • USC Healthcare Consultation Center II
    1520 San Pablo St., Suite 4300
    Los Angeles, CA 90033
    Phone: (323) 442-5849
    Fax: (323) 442-5956
    E-mail: vstarnes@surgery.usc.edu
    For appointments please call (323) 442-5849
  • USC Cardiothoracic Surgeons
    625 S. Fair Oaks Ave.
    Suite 400
    Pasadena, CA 91105
    Phone: (626) 683-9000
  • Covina Consultation Center
    USC Cardiothoracic
    315 North 3rd Ave.
    Suite 303A
    Covina, CA 91723
    Phone: (626) 331-1439
  • Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
    4650 Sunset Boulevard
    MS 66
    Los Angeles, California 90027
    Phone: (323) 669-4148
    E-mail: vstarnes@chla.usc.edu


  • Keck Hospital of USC
  • Huntington Hospital
  • Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
  • Methodist Hospital, Arcadia
  • Inter-Community Campus, Citrus Valley Medical Center
  • LAC+USC Medical Center


  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, BA, 1973
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, M.D. 1977

Hospital Training


  • Vanderbilt University 1977-78 General Surgery


  • Vanderbilt University 1978-84 General Surgery
  • Stanford University 1984-1985 Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Stanford University 1986 Cardiothoracic Transplantation
  • Hospital for Sick Children, London 1987 Congenital Heart Surgery

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery, 1985
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery, 1988

Clinical Interests

  • Adult Cardiac Surgery
  • Mitral Valve Repair
  • The Ross Procedure
  • Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
  • Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
  • Adult and Pediatric Heart and Lung Transplantation
  • Living Donor Lobar Lung Transplantation
  • Aortic Aneurysm Repair

Research Interests

  • Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Heart and Lung Transplantation



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Cardiac Surgery Physicians


Cardiothoracic Fellows

  • Mabelle Cohen, MD
  • Dawn Hui, MD
  • Subhadra Shashidharan, MD
  • Melita Veighs, MD


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