President and Chief Medical Officer at Biostage
Dr. LaFrancesca is a cardiothoracic surgeon with extensive clinical experience committed to the clinical translation of transformative medical research. Dr. La Francesca has a unique combination of experience that features over 25 years of academic clinical surgical practice and innovative research, with a foundation in the cardiovascular, thoracic transplantation, cardiac assist device and regenerative medicine fields. He joins the company from the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplantation at the DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center at the Houston Methodist Hospital, where he developed the current surgical and perfusion techniques for thoracic organ procurement and preservation and where he was also the Director of the Ex-vivo Lung Perfusion Laboratory. Previously he was an attending surgeon at the Department of Cardiopulmonary Transplantation at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas. Dr. La Francesca still holds an appointment as Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in Rome, Italy. He received his MD in medicine and surgery in 1985 at the University of Palermo. He did his Residency in Cardiovascular Surgery in the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and then completed his post-doctoral training with fellowships at the Texas Heart Institute under the supervision of pioneer surgeon Denton Cooley. He was also a Clinical/Research fellow at McGill University in Montréal, Québec, Canada and at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. La Francesca holds UNOS certifications as a heart transplant surgeon and lung transplant surgeon. He is also certified as surgeon for the use of the HeartMate and the Jarvik 2000 left ventricular assist devices.