Pediatric Surgery

Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery


Pediatric Faculty

Robert J. Dabal, M.D.
Director | Professor

David C. Cleveland
Associate Professor

Luz A. Padilla
Assistant Professor

Robert A. Sorabella
Assistant Professor

Featured Research

Under the direction of Dr. David Cleveland, the section has developed a concentration in the area of cardiac xenotransplantation. The program holds the distinction of having the longest living survivor of a pig to baboon cardiac xenotransplant in the United States. In addition to the clinical accomplishments, there has been an emphasis on both the basic science aspects of the field as well as the social and ethical considerations related to the area.

2021 Publications

  1. Miller VM, Padilla LA, Swicord WB, Burns ZR, Sorabella RA, Cleveland DC, Dabal RJ. Gender Differences in Cardiothoracic Surgery Interest among General Surgery Applicants. Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Sep;112(3):961-967. doi: 10.1016/ j.athoracsur.2020.09.012. Epub 2020 Oct 27. PMID: 33127402.
  2. Padilla LA, Rhodes L, Sorabella RA, Hurst DJ, Cleveland DC, Dabal RJ, Cooper DK, Paris W, Carlo WF. Attitudes toward xenotransplantation: A survey of parents and pediatric cardiac providers. Pediatr Transplant. 2021 Mar;25(2): e13851. doi: 10.1111/petr.13851. PMID 33022840.
  3. Cooper DKC, Cleveland DC. The first clinical trial: Kidney or Heart? Letter to the Editor. Feb 2021. Xenotransplan. 2021 Jan;28(1):e12644
    doi. 10.1111/xen.12644 Epub 2020 Dec 18. PMID: 33336862
  4. Padilla LA, Hurst DJ, Jang K , Rosales JR, Sorabella RA, Cleveland DC, Dabal RJ, Cooper DK, Carlo W, Paris W. Racial Differences in Attitudes to Clinical Pig Organ Xenotransplantation. Xenotransplan. 2021 Mar;28(2):e12656. 28:2 doi: 10.1111/xen.12656. PMID: 33099814.
  5. Cleveland DC, Jagdale A, Carlo W, Iwase H, Crawford J, Walcott G, Dabal RJ, Sorabella RA, Rhodes L, Timpa J, et al. The Genetically Engineered Heart as a Bridge to Allotransplantation: Just Around the Corner? Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Jun 4;S0003-4975(21)00982-6. doi: 10.1016/ j.athoracsur.2021.05.025 PMID 34097894. Online ahead of print.
  6. Hurst DJ, Padilla L, Cooper DKC, Cleveland DC, Paris W. Letter to the Editor. Clinical trials of pediatric xenotransplantation. Am J Transplan. 2021 Jan;21(1):433-434. doi: 10.1111/ajt.161651. Epub 2020 Jul 6. PMID: 32946175
  7. Lopez R, Padilla L, Sorabella R, Cleveland DC, Rhodes L, Dabal RJ. Case Report: Tachyarrhythmia as a possible symptom of coronavirus in a neonate diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries. J Car Surg. 2021 Jul;36(7):2578-2581. Epub 2021 Apr 16. PMID 33861465.
  8. Litovsky S, Foote JB, Jagdale A, Walcott G, Iwase H, Bikhet M, Yahmamoto T, Hansen C, Ezzelarab M, Ayares D, Carlo W, Rhodes L, Crawford J, Borasino S, Dabal RJ, Hara H, Cooper DKC, Cleveland DC. Brief Communication. Cardiac and Pulmonary Histopathology in Baboons following Genetically-engineered Pig Orthotopic Heart Transplantation. Xenotranspl. Under Review June 2021.
  9. Thompson CP, Jagdale A, Walcott G, Iwase H, Foote J B, Cron RQ, Hara H, Cleveland DC, Cooper DKC. A perspective on the potential detrimental role of inflammation in pig orthotopic heart xenotransplantation. Commentary. Xenotranspl. 2021 Jul;28(4):e12687. doi:10.1111/xen.12687. PMID 33786912.
  10. Hurst DJ, Padilla L, Paris W, Cooper DKC, Cleveland DC. Letter to the Editor Addressing concerns towards xenotransplantation. J. Card Surg 2021 Sep 6. Online ahead of print. doi: 10.1111/jocs.15993 PMID: 34486774.
  11. Padilla LA, Portman M, Shrestha S. Reply Kawasaki Disease and Clinical Outcome Disparities among Black Children. Journal of Pediatrics 2021 230, P277-278, MARCH 01, 2021.
  12. Carlo WF, Floyd S, Pearce B, Collins JL, Hubbard M, Dabal RJ, Buckman JR, Padilla LA, Kirklin JK. Examining racial and socioeconomic disparity in the pediatric heart transplant evaluation. Pediatr Transplant 2021 Feb 1;e13979. DOI: 10.1111/petr.13979
  13. Hurst DJ, Padilla LA, Cooper DKC, Paris W. Attitudes towards Xenotransplantation Clinical Trials: A Report of Focus Group Studies. Xenotransplantation 2021
  14. Lopez R, Padilla LA, Sorabella R, Cleveland D, Rhodes LA, Dabal R. Tachyarrhythmia as a possible symptom of Coronavirus in a Neonate diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Vessels. J Card Surg 2021
  15. Greene H, Buckman JR, Waterbor JW, Padilla LA. Publication Quality Following Short Summer Cancer Research Internships. J Cancer Educ. 2021 Apr 9. doi: 10.1007/s13187-021-02005-2. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33835377
  16. Sisson M, Padilla LA, Hubbard M, Smith S, Pearce B, Collins L, Carlo WF. Impact of induction strategy change on first year rejection in pediatric heart transplantation at a single center – from postoperative basiliximab to either postoperative anti-thymocyte globulin or preoperative basiliximab. Clinical Transplantation 2021
  17. Padilla LA, Hurst DJ, Jang K, Bargainer R, Cooper DKC, Paris W. Acceptance of Xenotransplantation Among Nursing Students. Journal of Evidence-based Social Work 2021
  18. Mladinov D, Eudailey KW, Padilla LA, Norman JB, Leahy B, Enslin J, Parker K, Cornelius KF, Davies JE. Effects of Acute Normovolemic Hemodilution on Post-Cardiopulmonary Bypass Coagulation Tests and Allogeneic Blood Transfusion in Thoracic Aortic Repair Surgery: An Observational Cohort Study 2021
  19. Hurst DJ, Padilla LA, Cooper DKC, Paris W. Scientific and psychosocial ethical considerations for initial clinical trials of kidney xenotransplantation. Xenotransplantation. 2021 Nov 20. doi: 10.1111/xen.12722. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34800313.
  20. Padilla LA, Hurst D. Mandating COVID-19 Immunization for Living Organ Donors. Clin Transplant. 2021 Dec 30:e14573. doi: 10.1111/ctr.14573. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34968003.
  21. Burns ZR, Boyd CJ, Sollie ZW, Fang HA, Martin KD, and Dabal RJ. Evaluating the highest and lowest cited research articles in the cardiothoracic surgery literature. J Surg Res. 2021 Feb; 258: 224-230.
  22. Padilla LA, Hurst D, Jang K, Rosales J, Sorabella R, Cleveland D, Dabal R, Cooper DK, Carlo W, Paris W. Racial differences in attitudes to Xenotransplantation. Xenotransplantation 2021 Mar; 28(2):e12656.
  23. Asfari A, Clark MG, Hock KM, Huskey BS, Rahman AK, Dabal RJ, and Borasino S. Early versus late sternal closure in infants – perioperative associations and outcomes. Accepted for Publication. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. May 2021.
  24. Carlo WF, Collins JL, Pearce FB, Dabal RJ and Alten JA. Late heart transplantation in hypoplastic left heart syndrome with intact atrial septum. Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Aug;112(2):e135-e137.
  25. Callahan CP, Jegatheeswaran A, Blackstone EH, Rajeswaran J, Toth AJ, Dabal RJ et al (CHSS Atrioventricular Septal Defect Working Group). Impact of atrial septal fenestration on outcomes after atrioventricular septal defect repair: A Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society study. Accepted for publication June 2021. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg.
  26. Holman WL, Sorabella RA, Davies JE. Commentary: Details and concentration. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021, epub ahead of print.

Faculty Accomplishments

Dr. Robert J. Dabal serves on multiple national and international committees, including the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery Database Committee and the Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS) Congenital Heart Surgery Database Task Force. He is a member of the congenital section of the STS Annual Meeting Program Committee and serves on the STS Workforce for Congenital Heart Surgery. Having served on the Birmingham Metro Board of the American Heart Association (AHA) for many years, he became the president of the Board in the summer of 2021. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Heart Care International and the Alabama Organ Center/Legacy of Hope Advisory Board. He is the 4th-Year Clerkship Director for General Surgery and has served on the Heersink Medical School Admissions committee as a screener and interviewer for several years.

Dr. David C. Cleveland is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Workforce on e-Learning and Educational Innovation. He is a member of many national societies, including the STS and the Congenital Heart Surgeons Society, and is the immediate past director of the UAB cardiothoracic surgery residency program.

Dr. Luz A. Padilla is a member of both the American Heart Association and the American Public Health Association. She was a finalist for the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2021 and was selected for a highly competitive program of the NHLBI, the UC San Diego Future Faculty of Cardiovascular Sciences (FOCUS) training program. She has served as a Board Member of the UAB Institutional Review Board since 2016 and is lead faculty sponsor of the Heersink SOM Public Health Interest Group.

Dr. Robert A. Sorabella is a member of multiple societies, including the STS, the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association (STSA), and the American College of Surgeons (ACS). He serves on several hospital committees at COA, including the Heart Center Morbidity and Mortality Committee and the Heart Center Code Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Heersink Medical School Admissions Committee, where he serves as both a screener and an interviewer. Recently, he was appointed to a national task force as part of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) to develop guidelines for the surgical management of Trisomy 13 and 18. He also serves as a voting member of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) National Heart Review Board for Pediatrics.