• Mon - Sat 9 - 6
  • Sun 10 - 5:30
7812 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037

Stuart Jamieson - "Close to the Sun: The Journey of a Pioneer Heart Surgeon"

Stuart Jamieson - "Close to the Sun: The Journey of a Pioneer Heart Surgeon"

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 7:30pm

7812 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

On Tuesday, March 12th at 7:30pm Warwick's will host Stuart Jamieson as he discusses and signs his new book, Close to the Sun: The Journey of a Pioneer Heart Surgeon. Dr. Stuart W. Jamieson is an internationally renowned heart surgeon, a heart- and lung-transplant pioneer, and a veteran of more than 40,000 heart surgeries. He is Distinguished Professor of Surgery and Dean of Cardiovascular Affairs at the University of California San Diego, where he has worked since 1989. This event is free and open to the public. Reserved Seating is available when the book is pre-ordered from Warwick's for the event. Only books purchased from Warwick's will be signed. Please call the Warwick's Book Dept. (858) 454-0347 for details.

Dr. Stuart Jamieson recalls the astonishing image of a chest opened for surgery with an empty place at the center. The date was July 4, 1979 and Jamieson was about to perform his first heart transplant.

Though thousands of heart transplants are now performed each year worldwide, in 1979 the operation was still subject to frequent failure. In his book, Close to the Sun, Jamieson takes us on a journey back to those days and into the research labs and operating rooms where transplant surgery was being refined. Jamieson was responsible for many of those advances. He is the veteran of more than 40,000 heart surgeries and the author of more than 500 scientific papers, detailing his seminal work in heart, heart-lung transplants, double-lung transplants and the development of cyclosporine. That anti-rejection drug removed the leading obstacle to transplant surgery, thereby dramatically improving success rates.

Closer to the Sun chronicles the education, trials and triumphs of a physician and examines Jamieson’s formative years in a land of natural beauty, racial apartheid and at a harsh boarding school, where physical beatings were common.

Born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe,) Jamieson escaped his homeland’s civil war for higher education and medical school at the University of London. He did some of his early training at Brompton Hospital, Britain’s top cardiac facility. A fellowship brought him to California and Stanford University, where he trained and worked with Dr. Norman Shumway, widely regarded as father of heart transplant surgery.

Not only was Jamieson lucky enough to be at the right place at right time, he possessed a single-minded determination to master and advance the science and craft of heart surgery. Much of the time, he worked seven days a week, essentially living at the Palo Alto medical center so he could oversee his patients’ progress. He rose to the post of Director of Heart-Lung Transplantation at Stanford.   

Jamieson went on to build leading heart and lung transplant centers in Minneapolis and at the University of California San Diego, where today he is a Distinguished Professor of Surgery and Dean of Cardiovascular Affairs.   

More than just an autobiography or a history, Close to the Sun portrays how medical science advances. It examines the ingredients of medical breakthroughs: painstaking research punctuated by dramatic new insights and the difficult, often split-second, ethical decisions in employing experimental procedures made as patients’ medical conditions teeter. Jamieson writes, too, about the bare-knuckled politics of an academic institution, where his willingness to buck a higher up in pursuit of creating a top-notch heart transplant center – a challenge he was recruited for – nearly cost him his career.