President's Message

A Message from the AATS President


David H. Adams, MD
99th President, AATS


David H. Adams Assumes Presidency 
of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery

Vaughn A. Starnes Named President-Elect, Marc R. Moon is Elected Vice President, 
and David R. Jones is Secretary.



SAN DIEGO – May 3, 2018 – David H. Adams, MD, became the 99th President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Monday evening. He officially succeeded Duke E. Cameron, MD, in a ceremony at the AATS 98th Annual Meeting in San Diego.

A recognized leader in the field of heart valve surgery and mitral valve reconstruction, Dr. Adams is the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Cardiac Surgeon-in-Chief of the Mount Sinai Health System. He is also President of the Mitral Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting best practice standards in mitral valve disease and supporting medical missions that advance the repair skills of surgeons in developing countries.

As the Program Director of The Mount Sinai Hospital Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center, he directs one of the largest programs in the United States. Dr. Adams and his team perform over 450 mitral valve operations per year while setting national benchmarks for clinical outcomes.

Dr. Adams received his undergraduate and medical education at Duke University, and completed his internship, research fellowship,  and residencies in general and cardiothoracic surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. During his tenure at Mount Sinai he co-authored the internationally acclaimed and widest selling valve textbook in history, Carpentier's Reconstructive Valve Surgery, and also co-edited the benchmark reference textbook Cardiac Surgery in the Adult. He is also an Associate Editor for Surgery for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  He has also invented or co-invented multiple mitral or tricuspid repair rings that are used throughout the world, and currently serves as the National Co-Principal Investigator of multiple FDA pivotal randomized trials in the field of transcatheter valve intervention.

He has been an active member of the AATS, the oldest and most prestigious organization dedicated to cardiothoracic surgery, since 1999. He is the Director of the biennial AATS Mitral Conclave, the largest international meeting in the world focused on mitral valve disease, and a co-director of the annual American College of Cardiology - AATS Heart Valve Summit. He has served as part of the AATS Council and Executive Committee, for the past five years, providing oversight of the association’s management and financial activities.

Joining him in new positions on the Executive Committee are Vaughn A. Starnes, MD, who is now the President-Elect after serving as Vice President for the last year, Marc R. Moon, MD, who was elected as the new AATS Vice President, and David R. Jones, MD, who becomes Secretary following a year as Secretary-Elect. In addition, Thierry Carrel, MD, of the University Hospital Bern joins the Council as an International Councilor.

Dr. Starnes is Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, and the Co-Director of the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and did his general surgery training, as well as two years of research in cardiothoracic physiology and pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. He spent two years as a resident in cardiovascular surgery, and one year as chief resident in cardiac transplantation at Stanford University, then did a fellowship in pediatric cardiovascular surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in London before returning to Stanford. He has been at USC since 1992 and has been Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery since 1997.

Dr. Moon most recently served as the AATS Secretary for five years. He is the Chief of Cardiac Surgery, the Program Director for the Thoracic Surgery Residency Program, and the John M. Shoenberg Professor of Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he received his medical degree from Wayne State University. He completed his residency in general surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, which included a one-year period of training in vascular surgery at Oxford University in England, and two years in the cardiovascular physiology laboratory at Stanford. He completed his cardiothoracic surgery training at Stanford in 1998.

Dr. Jones is the Fiona & Stanley Druckenmiller Chair of Lung Cancer Research, Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Co-Director of the Druckenmiller Center for Lung Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is past president of the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, Examination Chair for the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and leads the AATS Thoracic Surgical Oncology Group. He was one of the first thoracic surgeons to develop expertise in VATS approaches for lung and esophageal cancer. Dr. Jones has maintained a funded translational research laboratory for 20 years studying the biology of lung cancer metastases. He received his medical degree and completed his general surgery residency at West Virginia University. He did his thoracic surgery residency and a fellowship in molecular oncology at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. 


The American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) is an international organization that encourages, promotes, and stimulates the scientific investigation of cardiothoracic surgery. Founded in 1917 by a respected group of the earliest pioneers in the field, its original mission was to “foster the evolution of an interest in surgery of the Thorax.” Today, the AATS is the premiere association for cardiothoracic surgeons in the world and works to continually enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality of patient care. Its more than 1400 members have a proven record of distinction within the specialty and have made significant contributions to the care and treatment of cardiothoracic disease. Visit to learn more.