Faculty Profile

Kirk Kanter

Kirk R. Kanter, MD

Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Director, Heart Transplant Program, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston

Telephone: 404.785.6310

Email: kkanter@emory.edu

Certification: American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member: 1988


In 1988, Dr. Kirk Kanter was part of the Emory surgical team that performed Georgia's first domino heart transplant. That same year, he performed the state's first pediatric heart transplant at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. In 1993, he performed Georgia's first lung transplant. He was appointed Egleston's chief of cardiothoracic surgery as well as director of the heart and lung transplant program in 1998. Under Dr. Kanter's guidance, Egleston began offering the Stage 1 Norwood procedure for hypoplastic left heart syndrome in 2000; by 2005, the service was achieving some of the best outcomes with the procedure in the country. In 2008, he performed the first pediatric Berlin Heart surgery in Georgia.


View Dr. Kanter's publications in PubMed.


  • Emory University Hospital

  • Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston


  • MD, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, Class of 1976

  • Internship in Internal Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, 1976-1977

  • Residency in Internal Medicine, Emory, 1977-1978

  • General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery Residencies, Research Fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery: The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1978-1984

  • Fellowship in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, England, 1984

  • Fellowship in Pediatric and Adult Cardiac Surgery and Heart and Lung Transplantation, Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, England, 1985

Current Organizational Memberships

  • Alpha Omega Alpha

  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Representative to the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) Advisory Board of the American Medical Association

  • American Heart Association, Fellow

  • American Medical Association

  • Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society (CHSS)

  • International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation

  • Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association

  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons: Workforce on Nomenclature and Coding, Workforce on Congenital Heart Surgery, Representative to the CMS Georgia Carrier Advisory Committee

  • Southern Thoracic Surgical Association

  • World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery

Editorships and Editorial Boards

  • Journal of Cardiac Surgery

  • Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

  • Associate Editor for Continuing Medical Education, Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Honors and Awards

  • Atlanta's Top Doctors, Atlanta Magazine, 2009-2019

  • Sir James Carreras Award, Variety International, 2017

  • Finalist, Physician Category, Annual Healthcare Heroes Awards, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 2004, 2009

  • President's Award for Best Scientific Paper, Annual Meeting, Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, 1994

Clinical Interests

  • Pediatric cardiac surgery with emphasis on the Norwood procedure and the Ross procedure
  • Adult and pediatric heart and lung transplantation

  • Cardiopulmonary transplantation

  • Tracheal surgery

Research Interests

  • Cardiac assistance and replacement

  • The surgical management of congenital heart disease with an emphasis on early correction in infancy

  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for the management of postoperative cardiac failure in infants

  • Mechanical circulatory assistance