During his tenure at Loma Linda, Dr. Gundry pioneered the field of xenotransplantation, the study of the way in which the genes of one species react to the transplanted heart of a foreign species. He was one of the original 20 investigators of the first FDA-approved implantable left ventricular assist device (a kind of artificial heart). Dr. Gundry is also the inventor of the ministernotomy, the widely used minimally invasive approach to aortic- or mitral-valve repair; the Gundry Lateral Tunnel, a "living" tissue that can rebuild parts of the heart in children with severe congenital heart malformations; and the Skoosh venous cannula, the most widely used cannula in minimally invasive heart operations.
One of the fathers of robotic surgery, Dr. Gundry, as a consultant to Computer Motion (now Intuitive Surgical), received early FDA approval to use robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery for coronary artery bypass and mitral valve operations. He holds patents on devices for connecting blood vessels and coronary artery bypasses without sutures, as well as for repairing the mitral valve without the need for sutures or a heart-lung machine. He has served on the board of directors of the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) and was a founding board member and treasurer of the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS). He recently completed two successive elected terms as president of the board of directors of the American Heart Association, Desert Division.
Dr. Gundry has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Cardiology, the American Surgical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the College of Chest Physicians and is a member of numerous other surgical and medical societies. He is also the author of hundreds of articles and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals on surgical, immunological, genetic, nutritional, and lipid investigations and has contributed chapters to books on these subjects. He has operated in more than 30 countries and participated in charitable missions to China, India, and Zimbabwe.
Inspired by the stunning reversal of coronary artery disease in an "inoperable" patient by the use of a combination of dietary changes and nutraceutical supplements, Dr. Gundry changed the focus of his career in 2001. An obese, chronic "diet" failure himself, he adapted his undergraduate Yale University thesis to design a diet based on evolutionary genetic coding, which enabled him to reverse his own medical problems and effortlessly lose 70 pounds. Members of his staff who followed his diet enjoyed equally astonishing results. No longer satisfied with repairing the damage caused by chronic diseases, Dr. Gundry accepted a position in Palm Springs, California, that would enable him to devote his efforts to disease reversal.
Since 2002, Dr. Gundry has served as medical director of the International Heart and Lung Institute in Palm Springs, which serves patients from across the nation. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Restorative Medicine, which is part of the institute. Its mission is to prevent and reverse the chronic diseases of aging with diet and nutraceutical interventions, using surgical intervention as a last resort for heart and vascular disease.
Dr. Gundry first diet book, Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution, was published in March 2008.
Dr. Gundry lives with his wife, Penny, and their four dogs in Palm Springs and Montecito, California. His two grown daughters live nearby.
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