Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery
Baylor College of Medicine
DeBakey-Bard Chair of Surgery
Baylor College of Medicine
Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Baylor College of Medicine
Professor of Heart and Vascular Disease
Texas Heart Institute


Fellowship from National Institutes Of Health
Residency at New York University Medical Center
General Surgery
Internship at New York University Medical Center
General Surgery
MD from Northwestern University


Board Certified
American Board of Surgery
Board Certified
American Board of Thoracic Surgery

Honors & Awards

Who’s Who in America
Top Doctors
Top Doctors

Professional Statement

Dr. Todd K. Rosengart, Chair and DeBakey-Bard Chair of Surgery, is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported scientist with uninterrupted extramural funding since 1998. An extensively published investigator, he is also editor of Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and was recently appointed member of the NIH Bioengineering, Technology, and Surgical Sciences (BTSS) study section.

Basic and translational research have occupied a predominant position in his academic career beginning with his serving as a Clinical Fellow at the NIH, and continuing with appointments as an independent investigator with American Heart Association sponsored research support and NIH extramural funding. This effort has been highlighted by his role in the bench-to-bedside development of angiogenic therapy as a potential treatment for atherosclerotic coronary artery and vascular occlusive disease, and in our lab’s current, multi-year focus to study cardiac cellular reprogramming. This work includes the translation of early in vivo examinations of angiogenic growth factors in the mid-1980s and early 1990s into the (first in the US) adenovirus-mediated delivery of angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to the human heart, as part of a Phase I/II clinical trial in 1997-1999. Together with this experience, our current investigations of cellular reprogramming offer the exciting possibility of “bio-interventions” for the treatment of hundreds of thousands with advanced heart disease still not treatable by conventional therapies.

Congestive heart failure typically occurring as a result of myocardial infarction remains the leading cause of mortality from heart disease. Cardiac stem cell therapy has offered promise in animal and clinical studies, but remains inherently constrained by the logistical challenges of delivering and integrating exogenous cells into a host myocardium. The recent discovery that induced cardiomyocytes (iCMs) could be generated directly from somatic cells offers the exciting possibility of bypassing stem cell staging and, perhaps more importantly, converting scar fibroblasts in situ into iCMs, obviating entirely the challenges of cell implantation into a host myocardium. Rosengart and others have recently demonstrated that the administration of a cardiac transcription factor cocktail (e.g., GATA4, MEF2c and TBX5 [GMT]) results in as much as a 50% increase in ventricular function, reduced fibrosis, and increased iCM populations in small animal myocardial infarction models. Intriguingly, also demonstrating that reductions in infarct size appear to far exceed the extent of scar re-population with iCMs, and that GMT also appears to reduce the population of (scar-producing) myofibroblasts as well as the expression of key scar remodeling cytokines. These data, and our observation that GMT efficacy is enhanced by the angiogenic pre-treatment of myocardial scar with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), suggest the existence of unexplored and non-optimized underlying mechanisms. Given his long-term goal to develop a potentially important new treatment for CHF, he is studying whether cellular reprogramming can be applied to improve cardiac infarct remodeling and function by testing the serial hypotheses that: a) inadequate up-regulation of requisite reprogramming genes limits cell transdifferentiation efficiency, which can be optimized beyond current thresholds via the comprehensive application of genomic activation strategies, b) that the density of (contractile) iCMs in infarct zones as well as indirect or paracrine (i.e., anti-fibrotic) mechanisms play critical roles in GMT/VEGF mediated infarct remodeling, and c) that cardiac fibroblasts can be made susceptible to reprogramming in a clinically relevant fashion. His team will use cutting edge molecular strategies and pre-clinical animal models to execute these aims.

As a physician-entrepreneur, he is co-founder of Vitals.com, a leading health provider search and physician/patient interface website with over 13 million monthly visits. He holds twelve patents, including those for a method of inducing angiogenesis.

Selected Publications


Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
American Association for Thoracic Surgery
American Association for Thoracic Surgery
American College of Cardiology
American College of Surgeons
American Heart Association
American Society of Gene Therapy
Andrew Morrow Society of Cardiac Surgeons
Association of Academic Surgeons
International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Society of University Surgeons
Society of Surgical Chairs
American Surgical Association
Texas Surgical Association
Southern Thoracic Surgical Association