This chair was announced in 1989 and named
in honor of Dr. Carroll Hardy Long, a retired physician and
former mayor of his hometown, Johnson City. The Carroll H. Long
Chair of Surgical Research:
Dr. Race L. Kao is chairholder. Internationally recognized for his cardiovascular research, he serves as a reviewer and consultant for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, and on the Research Peer Review Committee for the American Heart Association.
Heart failure afflicts four million Americans and causes nearly 400,000 deaths each year. Patients with irreversible heart failure refractory to medical therapy can be managed with cardiac transplantation or a circulatory assist device. However, the limited donor supply and the unsatisfactory clinical outcome of long-term mechanical devices indicated new approaches are needed. Cardiac transplantation is a proven method for patients with end-stage failing hearts. Dr. Kao has developed an organ preservation solution that allows the donor heart to be stored safely for 10-12 hours. This doubled the time that had been allowed to transport a donor heart to its intended recipient.
Dr. Kao has also won a scientific gold medal from the Southeastern Surgical Congress for developing a solution that could prevent paralysis after vascular surgery of the aorta.