Updates on Heart Transplant Conference 2018
Dr. Feras Bader MD, MS, FACC
Conference Chairman
Director| Section of Heart Failure and Transplant Heart & Vascular Institute | Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Bader served as Medical Director of the Heart Failure Program and Director of the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Fellowship Program at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, US. He was also Associate Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Utah, specializing in the field of Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation. Dr. Bader also helped establish an advanced heart failure program for the Kuwait Ministry of Health, adding valuable regional experience to his experience practicing in the US.

Dr. Bader earned his medical degree from the University Of Jordan School Of Medicine in Amman, Jordan. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine as well as a fellowship in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant at the Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut, US. He then completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University Of Utah School Of Medicine, where he also obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Bader is American Board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Echocardiography, and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology. His research interests include various aspects of ventricular assist devices, hemodynamics and cardiorenal interaction in heart failure, as well as non-invasive diagnosis of rejection in heart transplantation. He has participated in many single and multi-center trials and has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Dr. Gurjyot Bajwa MD
Conference Moderator
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Gurjyot Bajwa, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Heart and Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Bajwa was in practice at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. She was the first surgeon in the tri-state area to perform robotically assisted mitral valve surgery in 2011.

Dr. Bajwa was born in India to a long line of ancestors with interest in education, her great grandfather being the first in the region pre-partition to obtain a Masters degree. She is the first physician/ surgeon in her family, keeping up the valued tradition. Dr. Bajwa moved to the United States to pursue higher education on an international academic scholarship at Hope College in Holland, MI. Dr. Bajwa earned her medical degree from St. George’s University in Grenada. She trained in general surgery at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. She completed a fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery from Rush University Medical Center, followed by formal training in minimally invasive cardiac surgery from Cleveland Clinic, Ohio. Dr. Bajwa is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Dr. Bajwa has authored numerous articles in scientific journals and textbooks.

Dr. Bajwa resides in Abu Dhabi now and enjoys the rich cultural aspects of its cosmopolitan population. She looks forward to bringing world class care to this region via Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Vivek Kakar
Consultant Physician, Anesthesiology Institute
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Vivek Kakar, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Anesthesiology Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Kakar was a Consultant in Critical Care, Anesthesia, Major Trauma, and ECMO at King’s College Hospital, London.

Dr. Kakar received his MBBS from NHL Medical College, Ahmedabad, India. He then completed his residency, and obtained an MD in Internal Medicine from BJ Medical College and Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, India (one of the biggest teaching hospitals in India). He then moved to the UK and completed his residency in Anesthesia from North Bristol NHS Trust, UK. He completed his fellowship(s) in Anesthesia & Intensive Care from the Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust, London. He is registered as a specialist in Anesthesia and Critical Care on the specialist register with the General Medical Council, UK.

His main areas of interest include cardiopulmonary critical care, cardiac anesthesia, anesthesia for major colorectal surgery, transesophageal echocardiography, and ECMO. With an International Diploma in ECMO from the La Pitie Salpetriere Hospital, Paris (Prof. Alain Combes) under his belt, Dr. Kakar has been extensively involved in ECMO provision at his previous job.

Dr. Kakar has also been actively involved in teaching and training medical students and residents. He is an instructor for focused echocardiography (FEEL-UK) and Advance Life Support (Resuscitation Council, UK) courses. He has completed a Masters (MA) in Medical Ethics and Law from Keele University, Staffordshire, UK. He frequently teaches medical students and residents about core fundamentals of decision-making in critical care. He has also been actively involved in and led the Risk and Governance for Critical Care.

Dr. Nizar Attallah
Transplant Nephrologist
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Nizar Attallah, MD, is a Transplant Nephrologist in the Nephrology Department in the Medical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Attallah worked as an attending physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, US, from 2006 to 2008. While he was at Henry Ford Hospital, he became a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University.

In July 2008, Dr. Attallah moved to Louisville, Kentucky, US, where he became Director of Home Dialysis and a Transplant Medical Co-director with Nephrology Associates of Kentuckiana. In 2012, he became a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine in the University of Kentucky.

During his career, Dr. Attallah has been involved in the evaluation and management of more than 1,000 new kidney transplants and 80 new pancreas transplants. He has a special interest in managing patients with renal hypertension and on home dialysis. In addition to kidney transplants, Dr. Attallah focuses on critical care nephrology and halting the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Dr. Attallah earned his medical degree from the University of Jordan, in Amman, Jordan. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine, a fellowship in Nephrology and Hypertension, and another fellowship in Kidney Transplantation at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, in the US.

Dr. Sandeep Attawar
Program Director and Chair Cardiac Sciences, Thoracic Organ Transplant, Mechanical Circulatory Support, Academic Program
Gleneagles Global Hospitals Group, Parkway Pantai Enterprise, Chennai, India

Dr. Attawar is one of India’s foremost cardiothoracic surgeons and is widely recognized for his expertise in performing complex heart surgeries in patients ranging from neonates to octogenarians. He is leading Cardiac Surgery & Heart & Lung Transplantation Unit at Global Hospitals, Chennai and has been instrumental in setting up 3 major heart centres both in India & abroad. He firmly believes in providing quality cardiac surgical care to patients of all walks of life. Apart from successfully performing a number of heart & lung transplants, he also has keen interest in the field of Cardiac Failure & Mechanical Circulatory Support including, Total Artificial Heart (TAH) & Ventricular assist devices implantation. 

He is a recognized for his ability to perform a variety of complex cardiac procedures on patients of all ages, and has participated in over 9000 surgeries to date. Those under his care enjoy a high level of satisfaction that is in line with his exceptional results. In addition, Dr. Attawar has also accumulated extensive expertise in starting successful cardiac units from the bottom up, having done so on four separate occasions over the last decade. His work during this period has involved healthcare giants such as Narayana Hrudayalaya, Apollo Hospitals and the Global Hospitals India Group
Dr. Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale
Cardiothoracic, Transplant and Minimal Access Cardiac Surgeon
Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad

Dr. Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale is an Indian Cardiac Surgeon at Apollo Hospitals. He is known for being the first to perform a successful human-to-human heart transplant and first successful lung transplant in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. He was honored by the Government of India with the Padma Sri award in 2016.

He completed M.S. General Surgery in 1985 from Guntur Medical College, Guntur. He joined initially as non-PG registrar, then as PG registrar with Prof. Stanley John and Prof. P.S.Jairaj in the cardiothoracic surgery department of Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore. He completed M.Ch (Cardiothoracic surgery) in 1990 from Dr. MGR medical university, Chennai. The same year he completed DNB in Cardiothoracic surgery from National Board of Examinations in New Delhi. He worked for two years till June 1992, as Assistant Professor in Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad. He did Senior Management Programme from IIM, Calcutta in 2010

Dr. Bassam Atallah
Pharmacotherapy Specialist
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Dr. Bassam Atallah is the Heart and Vascular Institute Pharmacotherapy Specialist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic, he was on faculty as Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS) in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Atallah received his PharmD from Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy in Virginia and completed an ASHP accredited post graduate residency at Winchester Medical Center in Virginia. Dr. Atallah is board certified in pharmacotherapy with added qualifications in Cardiology. He is a member of the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and serves on the Cardiology Practice and Research Network (PRN) Research and Scholarship committee, Heart Failure Society of America and serves on the education committee, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. He has several publications and presentations.

Dr. Sandra Elhajj
Solid Organ Transplant Pharmacotherapy Specialist
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Dr. Sandra is a licensed pharmacist in Lebanon and in Massachusetts, USA. She graduated with distinction on June 2013 with an ACPE accredited PharmD from Lebanese American University in Byblos, Lebanon / University of Incarnate Word in Houston, Texas. She have completed different School Rotations and Clerkship including nine (9) months of Advanced Clinical Rotations in Lebanon, four (4) months in the USA, a hospital-based two months of Advanced Community Pharmacy Rotations in Lebanon and a month in the USA. Her goal is to strengthen her skills as a clinical pharmacist and become a qualified, well-rounded leader in clinical pharmacy practice. Currently, she is working as a Solid Organ Transplant Pharmacotherapy Specialist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.