Robert E. Michler

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Robert E. Michler
Robert E. Michler, MD.jpg
Residence Greenwich, CT
Alma mater Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (Residency),
Boston Children's Hospital (Residency),
Dartmouth Medical School (M.D.),
Harvard University (B.A. Magna Cum Laude)
Occupation Cardiothoracic Surgeon, author, lecturer

Robert E. Michler, MD is an American surgeon who specializes in complex heart surgery, especially mitral and aortic valve repair. He is Surgeon-in-Chief at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, New York. He is also the Samuel I. Belkin Chair, Professor and Chairman, Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery and Co-Director, Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care.

Professional career[edit]

Dr. Michler has performed nearly 5,000 open heart procedures ranging from complex valve repair, coronary artery bypass, and aneurysm surgery to heart transplantation and mechanical hearts in his 25-year career. He is a noted authority in all types of heart surgery and this surgical expertise has made him a highly sought after international lecturer and consultant.

Michler’s research interest in repairing the injured heart has led to clinical trials in autologous skeletal myoblast and cardiac stem cell transplantation. He is an NIH-funded investigator and leader in clinical trial enrollment. Michler and his teams have advanced minimally invasive cardiothoracic surgery procedures and surgical robotics.[1] This work led to Food and Drug Administration approval for selective cardiac robotic procedures including mitral valve repair and coronary bypass surgery.[2][3]

Michler has particular interest and experience as a turnaround specialist in the healthcare industry. His work experiences at New York Columbia Presbyterian, the Ohio State University Medical Center, and the Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine have led to the creation and implementation of programs in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, general surgery, organ transplantation, plastic and reconstructive surgery, pediatric surgery, breast surgery and cancer care. Michler was central to the planning, design, and philanthropic development of the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital. He served as the first executive director of the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital.

Michler has authored hundreds of peer-reviewed publications, recently publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He is a frequent editor and media authority on heart disease topics.[4][5][6] Michler lectures extensively, both nationally and abroad, on topics ranging from heart surgery, to strategies for increasing clinical trial enrollment, to “team building” in healthcare, to the creation of a heart hospital.

Formerly, he was the John G. and Jeanne B. McCoy Endowed Chair, Professor of Surgery, and Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Transplantation at the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Before joining the Ohio State University, Michler was a tenured Associate Professor of Surgery at Columbia University and served as the director of the Cardiac Transplant Program, one of the largest cardiac transplant programs in the nation, at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York.

Education and training[edit]

Michler received his undergraduate education Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University. He received his medical education at Dartmouth Medical School where he was a Leopold Schepp Scholar. Michler completed his residency in General Surgery, a fellowship in Cardiothoracic Transplantation and a residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. He was awarded the Blakemore Research Prize for three consecutive years. He completed a chief residency in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery with Dr. Aldo Castaneda at the Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital.

Heart Care International[edit]

Michler is the chairman and founder of a not-for-profit foundation, Heart Care International, which performs pediatric heart surgery in underserved regions of the world. To date, Heart Care International has helped over 1,500 children with heart disease and performed heart surgery on over 1,000 children. He has received numerous honors including “Person of the Week” by Peter Jennings of ABC World News Tonight, the Pace Humanitarian Award, and “The Order of Christopher Columbus” by Hipólito Mejía, President of the Dominican Republic.


  • ABC World News Person of the Week - With Peter Jennings Tonight February 18, 1995
  • President Hipolito Mejia La Orden Heraldica de Cristobal Colon Dominican Republic (The Order of Christopher Columbus) (Awarded for Heart Care International's humanitarian heart surgery missions) March 17, 2003
  • Erasmus Foundation Honorary President, Brussels, June 7, 2000
  • Columbia University Claire Lucille Pace Humanitarian Award College of Physicians and Surgeons May 13, 1996
  • Best Doctors in America 1995–present
  • Best Doctors in New York 1995–present
  • Columbia University Blakemore Research Prize, College of Physicians and Surgeons 1985; 1986; 1987


In addition to numerous book chapters, his peer-reviewed Journal articles include

  • Acker MA, Parides MK, Perrault LP, Moskowitz AJ, Gelijns AC, Voisine P, Smith PK, Hung JW, Blackstone EH, Puskas JD, Argenziano M, Gammie JS, Mack M, Ascheim DD, Bagiella E, Moquete EG, Ferguson TB, Horvath KA, Geller NL, Miller MA, Woo YJ, D'Alessandro DA, Ailawadi G, Dagenais F, Gardner TJ, O'Gara PT,Michler RE, Kron IL; the CTSN Mitral-Valve Repair versus Replacement for Severe Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation. N Engl J Med. 2014; Jan 2; 370(1):23-32.288.
  • Jones RH, Velazquez EJ, Michler RE, Sopko G, Oh JK, O'Connor CM, Hill JA, Menicanti L, Sadowski Z, Desvigne-Nickens P, Rouleau JL, Lee KL; the STICH Hypothesis 2 Investigators.Coronary Bypass Surgery with or without Surgical Ventricular Reconstruction. N Engl J Med. 2009 Mar 29 (Epub ahead of print), N Engl J Med. 2009 360:17, 1705-17.
  • Michler RE, Rouleau JL, Al-Khalidi HR, Bonow RO, Pellikka PA, Pohost GM, Holly TA, Oh JK, Dagenais F, Milano C, Wrobel K, Pirk J, Ali IS, Velazquez EJ, Lee KL, Di Donato M. Insights from the STICH trial: Change in left ventricular size after coronary artery bypass grafting with and without surgical ventricular reconstruction. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2013 Nov;146(5):1139-1145.
  • Michler RE. Stem Cell Therapy for Heart Failure. Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 2013 Oct;9(4):187-194.
  • Michler RE. Surgical Options for the Management of Ischemic Cardiomyopathy.Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine, 2013, 15(5) 518-532.
  • Bearzi C, Rota M, Hosoda T, Tillmanns J, Nascimbene A, De Angelis A, Yasuzawa-Amano S, Trofimova I, Siggins RW, Lecapitaine N, Cascapera S, Beltrami AP, D'Alessandro DA, Zias E, Quaini F, Urbanek K, Michler RE, Bolli R, Kajstura J, Leri A, Anversa P. Human cardiac stem cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2007 Aug 28;104(35):14068-73.
  • Williams JB, Peterson ED, Brennan JM, Sedrakyan A, Tavris D, Alexander JH, Lopes RD, Dokholyan RS, Zhao Y, O’Brien SM, Michler RE, Thourani VH, Edwards FH, Gross T, Marinac-Dabic D, Smith PK. Endoscopic Association between endoscopic vs open vein-graft harvesting and mortality, wound complications, and cardiovascular events in patients undergoing CABG surgery. JAMA. 2012 Aug 1;308(5):475-84.
  • Smith PK, Michler RE, Woo YJ, Alexander JH, Puskas JD, Parides MK, Hahn RT, Williams JB, Dent JM, Ferguson TB Jr, Moquete E, Rose EA, Pagé P, Jeffries NO, O'Gara PT, Ascheim DD. Design, rationale, and initiation of the Surgical Interventions for Moderate Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation Trial: A report from the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012. 143(1):111-117.e.1.
  • Knowles, D.M., Cesarman, E., Chadburn, A., Frizzera, G., Chen, J., Rose, E.A., Michler, R.E. Correlative morphologic and molecular genetic analysis demonstrates three distinct categories of posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorders (1995) Blood, 85 (2), pp. 552–565.
  • Yang, X., Chowdhury, N., Cai, B., Brett, J., Marboe, C., Sciacca, R.R., Michler, R.E., Cannon, P.J. Induction of myocardial nitric oxide synthase by cardiac allograft rejection (1994) Journal of Clinical Investigation, 94 (2), pp. 714–721.
  • Liu, Z., Colovai, A.I., Tugulea, S., Reed, E.F., Fisher, P.E., Mancini, D., Rose, E.A., Cortesini, R., Michler, R.E., Suciu-Foca, N. Indirect recognition of donor HLA-DR peptides in organ allograft rejection (1996) Journal of Clinical Investigation, 98 (5), pp. 1150–1157.
  • Szabolcs, M., Michler, R.E., Yang, X., Aji, W., Roy, D., Athan, E., Sciacca, R.R., Minanov, O.P., Cannon, P.J. Apoptosis of cardiac myocytes during cardiac allograft rejection: Relation to induction of nitric oxide synthase (1996) Circulation, 94 (7), pp. 1665–1673.
  • Pinsky, D.J., Naka, Y., Chowdhury, N.C., Liao, H., Oz, M.C., Michler, R.E., Kubaszewski, E., Malinski, T., Stern, D.M. The nitric oxide/cyclic GMP pathway in organ transplantation: Critical role in successful lung preservation (1994) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 91 (25), pp. 12086–12090.
  • Barr, M.L., Meiser, B.M., Eisen, H.J., Roberts, R.F., Livi, U., Dall'Amico, R., Dorent, R., Rogers, J.G., Radovančević, B., Taylor, D.O., Jeevanandam, V., Marboe, C.C., Franco, K.L., Ventura, H.O., Michler, R.E., Griffith, B.P., Boyce, S.W., Reichart, B., Gandjbakhch, I. Photopheresis for the prevention of rejection in cardiac transplantation (1998) New England Journal of Medicine, 339 (24), pp. 1744–1751.


  1. ^ Kolata, Gina (4 April 2000). "Next Up: Surgery by Remote Control". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Grady, Denise (July 19, 2004). "Putting Weakened Heart in Experimental Hands". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Hamilton, Anita (June 4, 2001). "Forceps! Scalpel! Robot!". Time. 
  4. ^ "Bill Clinton's Stent Procedure". CBS News. February 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Unnecessary Heart Implant?". CNN American Morning. January 5, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Preventing Heart Attacks". ABCNews. September 29, 2011.