Yoshifumi Naka, M.D., Ph.D.

Cardiac Surgery

Locations and Appointments

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Personal Statement

I decided to be a cardiac surgeon when I met one of the pioneer cardiac surgeons in Japan during the first year of medical school who later became my mentor.  And I moved to PhD course after graduating from Osaka University Medical School to study transplantation biology since he wanted to resume cardiac transplantation after decades of silence.  The study during the PhD course led to the opportunity for me to continue studying transplantation biology at Columbia University.  Since then I had stayed at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP), Columbia University Irving Medical Center till I moved to Weil Cornell Medicine in Feb 2021.  I am excited to be an official member of Weill Cornell Medicine where I have been serving as the bi-campus Director of Mechanical Circulatory Support program since 2008. I have been involved in the care of extremely sick patients and enjoyed seeing their recovery from advanced cardiac surgeries including but not limited to heart transplantation and implantation of artificial heart devices.  Now I am extremely excited to start the heart transplantation program at the Weill Cornell campus, and carry the responsibility of leading NYP's entire heart failure surgery activities.  My goal is to push the heart failure program at NYP to the top international level with regard to not only its volume but it's quality. 

Biographical Info

Dr. Yoshifumi Naka is a Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Surgical Director of Heart Failure, Heart Transplantation, and Mechanical Circulatory Support programs at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Naka is an internationally renowned heart transplant surgeon and a pioneer in mechanical assist therapy for heart failure. Under his leadership, The Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support Programs at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center have earned international recognition for their contributions in developing and testing new cardiac devices and in training cardiothoracic surgeons around the world. The heart transplant program is the largest U.S. heart transplant program by volume.

Dr. Naka completed his medical education at Osaka University Medical School (MD) and Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine (PhD).  He completed his residency in general, and cardiovascular surgery at Osaka Police Hospital, an affiliated hospital of Osaka University. He did a post-doctoral research fellowship at the department of physiology, Columbia University, and a foreign clinical fellowship at the division of cardiothoracic surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center.  He stayed at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center for 22 years before moving to Weill Cornell Medicine. 

Dr. Naka has authored more than 400 articles published in peer reviewed medical journals, 22 book chapters and two books.  He has been invited to present his work at national and international meetings.  He is a member of the American Heart Association, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Society of University Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, and ASAIO.  He is committed to training the next generation of heart failure surgeons and has taught numerous surgeons under his supervision. A Majority of them became chiefs of cardiac surgery divisions or directors of heart transplantation programs.  He has served as a member of Annals of Thoracic Surgery Editorial Board, ad hoc reviewer for numerous medical journals,  a member of American Association for Thoracic Surgery Graham Travel Fellowship Committee and Leadership member of Society of Thoracic Surgeons

In his leisure time, Dr. Naka enjoys golfing.

Honors and Awards

Young Investigators Award. Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery, 1988

Cournand and Comroe Young Investigator Prize, 68th Annual Meeting of American Heart Association, 1995

Award for Achievement in Cardiovascular Science and Medicine, American Heart Association, NY chapter, 2010

Thoracic Surgery Residents Association (TSRA) Socrates award, 2016

Clinical Expertise
Heart Transplantation
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
Aortic Valve Replacement
MVR (Mitral Valve Replacement)
Cardiac Tumor
Aortic Root Replacement
Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Valve Replacement, Aortic and Mitral
Heart Valve Surgery
Open Heart Surgery
Mitral Valve Disease
MVR (Mitral Valve Repair)
Mitral Valve Repair (Complex)
Mitral Valvuloplasty
Ventricular Assist Device
Repair, Tricuspid Valve
Repair, Tricuspid Valve, Open
Aortic Valve Surgery
Aortic Valve Repair
Heart Valve Repair
Annuloplasty, Tricuspid Valve
Excision, Myxoma
Aortic and Mitral Valve Surgery
Cardiac Bypass Surgery
Cardiac Valve Surgery
Pericardial Disease
ECMO Procedure
  • Ph.D.
    Osaka University Medical School (Japan)
  • B.M.
    Osaka University Medical School (Japan)
  • Adjunct Professor of Surgery
    Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon
    NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
  • Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery I
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University

Dr. Yoshifumi Naka’s Profile Video:

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No External Relationships Reported