Patient Care

CHI St. Luke’s Health - Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center

WIlliam E. Cohn, MDWilliam E. Cohn MD, FACS, FACCP, FAHA

Director, Center for Technology and Innovation;

Associate Director, Laboratory Surgery Research in the
Center for Cardiac Support;
Co-director, Cullen Cardiovascular Research Laboratory
Texas Heart Institute at CHI St. Luke’s Health - Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center 

Dr. Cohn received his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College and his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, where he remained for general surgical and cardiothoracic surgical residency training and served as the last chief resident under the legendary Michael E. DeBakey. After graduation, he took a teaching position at Harvard Medical School where he rose to the rank of associate professor of surgery and served as an attending cardiothoracic surgeon and director of minimally invasive surgery at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for 11 years.

With a passion for medical device development, Dr. Cohn has more than 70 U.S. patents granted or pending, and another 60 international patents for his medical innovations. He has been honored as the Distinguished Inventor of the Year by the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

His major research interests include:

  • Minimally invasive approaches to cardiac surgery
  • New techniques for performing coronary artery bypass without extracorporeal circulation
  • New instrumentation to advance less invasive cardiac surgery
  • Novel approaches for performing myocardial revascularization
  • Tools and techniques for performing percutaneous mitral valve annuloplasty
  • Tools and techniques for mitigating the morbidity of atrial fibrillation
  • Tools and techniques for performing off-pump left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation
  • Development of a continuous flow totally implantable artificial heart

Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier at TEDMED 2012.
Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier at TEDMED 2012

Dr. Cohn has published extensively in peer reviewed journals and has authored seven textbook chapters. He serves on the editorial boards of Heart Surgery Forum, Innovations, Journal of Cardiac Surgery, Journal of Biomedical Research and CTSNet. He serves as an ad hoc reviewer for Circulation, Annals of Thoracic SurgeryJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and the Texas Heart Institute Journal. He is a fellow of the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Surgeons, the American Heart Association,  and serves on the board of many professional societies.

Dr. Cohn was awarded an honorary doctorate in science from Oberlin University in 2007. In 2013 he received the Thomas A. Edison Silver Award for excellence in human-centered design and innovation for developing the SentreHEART® Lariat® Suture Delivery Device.

Dr. Cohn is an associate professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, and an adjunct professor of bioengineering at the University of Houston.

He is an accomplished musician and plays several instruments. He performs locally with several bands, including Disco Expressions. He is also a talented amateur magician.


Located at the Heart and Lung Treatment and Transplant Center
Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center

LVAD PROGRAM 832-355-2285, toll free at 877-685-0361

HEART TRANSPLANT PROGRAM 832-355-2285, International: 832-355-3350



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Updated July 2014

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