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Personal profile


Professor Julian Smith is Head of Monash Universitys Department of Surgery (School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health), Deputy Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health and Head of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Monash Health.

He graduated in medicine from the University of Melbourne in 1981. His early post-graduate years were spent at the Royal Melbourne Hospital from where he obtained a Master of Surgery degree from the University of Melbourne and the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in General Surgery. His Australian training in cardiothoracic surgery was carried out at the Royal Melbourne, Alfred and Royal Children's Hospitals. After obtaining the FRACS in Cardiothoracic Surgery, he spent time at Stanford University in the USA and then Papworth Hospital in the UK for further training particularly in the field of heart and lung transplantation. In early 1995, he returned to the Alfred Hospital as a cardiothoracic surgeon and Deputy Head of the Heart and Lung Transplant Service, positions he held until September 2001.

He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and on the Council of its Australian and New Zealand Chapter. An experienced company director with a strong record of clincal and academic leadership, he is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was recently a member of the first cohort of graduates to obtain a Master of Surgical Education from the University of Melbourne and was the first Australian to receive Fellowship of the Faculty of Surgical Trainers of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Professor Smith has broad basic and clinical research experience in general and cardiothoracic surgery including organ transplantation and minimally invasive surgical techniques. Specific academic and research expertise (and contributions) include:

  • Development of the Heartport system of minimally invasive cardiac surgery using a combination of thoracoscopic techniques and small incisions (Redwood City, CA, USA)
  • Participated in pioneering work on circulatory support devices including:
    1. The first bridge to cardiac transplantation with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in Australia
    2. The first implant of a wearable LVAD in the USA (Stanford University)
    3. The first implant of a LVAD as a permanent alternative to cardiac transplantation (Cambridge, UK).
  • Establishment of an internationally recognised program of lung volume reduction surgery at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. The largest program in Australia and one of the largest in the world
  • First in Australia to report results of cardiac surgery outcomes using the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database
  • Pioneered the use of high frequency ultrasound as an energy source for the surgical management of atrial fibrillation in Australia

Other research interests include robot-assisted surgery, simulation in surgery, acute and chronic renal impairment in the context of cardiac surgery, the assessment of patient outcomes through large databases and surgical education.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Head, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Monash Health

24 Sep 2001 → …

Research area keywords

  • cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, surgical databases, surgical simulation, surgical education


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