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Trip L. Zorn, MD

George Zorn portrait
Associate Professor, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

Professional Background

My first position outside of training was at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. I was a surgical director of the structural heart program and the assistant director for the heart transplant program.

While at St Luke's I performed the first TAVR in Kansas City, and one of the first in the nation. I was the local surgical PI for the PARTNER trial, the original randomized trial for TAVR that led to multiple NEJM publications and stands as one of the most important medical trials of this century.

During my tenure as assistant director of the transplant program we increased our yearly volume from an average of 2 transplants a year to over 40. That placed our program as one of the top fifteen programs by volume for that year.

I moved to KU in 2008. I have been the surgical director of the structural heart program since that time. In collaboration with Dr. Peter Tadros, I helped advance the concept of the heart team. Also along with Dr. Tadros, I implanted the first Corevalve in the region in 2011. Subsequently, we implanted the first percutaneous pulmonary valve in the region. Other notable accomplishments include; the first valve in valve mitral replacement in the region, the first valve in valve tricuspid replacement in the region, the first tricuspid clip implantation in the region. Our program has developed to be the largest and most complete structural program in the region, and 1 of the largest in the country.

In 2020 I became the Surgical Director of Cardiac Surgery at KU. I am also helping to develop the Aortic Center of Excellence at KU to broaden the range of opportunities for our patients.

Professional Affiliations
  • Mid America Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons Governance Committee, Member, 2008 - Present



My initial research experience actually began in the summer after my sixth grade and continued through the summers of my college years. I began work in the research labs of Dr. John Kirklin at the University of Alabama in Birmingham where I assisted in the conduct of surgical trials. This mainly consisted of the role of the technologist performing animal research looking into the effects cardiopulmonary bypass and its impact on the lungs. It also included the development of a very early animal model for the clinical application of lung transplantation.

2 of my 7 years of general surgery training were dedicated to research activities in the field of cardiac and pulmonary xenotransplantation. I was responsible for the development of protocols, the conduct of the procedures, the care of the animals afterwards and the subsequent interpretation of the data.

After completing residency, my research experience at St. Luke's Hospital was focused on clinical trials. I was a principal investigator for a minimally invasive device designed to arrest and reverse remodeling associated with congestive heart failure. I was also the principal site investigator for the original SAPIEN trial.

Since moving to KU, I have been involved in greater than 10 clinical trials focused in the surgical and structural heart arena. For these trials, I have served as the PI or co-PI. I have also served on the national management committees of several national and international trials. I have also served as surgical Proctor for 3 separate trials.