At the Forefront of Discovery

A History of Firsts

Some of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind have been made in Texas — in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, right here at Texas Heart Institute.

Building
Texas Heart Institute has a long history of firsts in cardiovascular discovery, and is dedicated to innovation and changing the future of cardiovascular care worldwide.
Heart
Texas Heart Institute has a long history of firsts in cardiovascular discovery, and is dedicated to innovation and changing the future of cardiovascular care worldwide.
Heart 3D MRI
Texas Heart Institute has a long history of firsts in cardiovascular discovery, and is dedicated to innovation and changing the future of cardiovascular care worldwide.
Heartwave
Texas Heart Institute has a long history of firsts in cardiovascular discovery, and is dedicated to innovation and changing the future of cardiovascular care worldwide.
Lariat Device
Texas Heart Institute has a long history of firsts in cardiovascular discovery, and is dedicated to innovation and changing the future of cardiovascular care worldwide.
Liquid Nitrogen
Texas Heart Institute has a long history of firsts in cardiovascular discovery, and is dedicated to innovation and changing the future of cardiovascular care worldwide.
Pulse Dac Bivacor
Texas Heart Institute has a long history of firsts in cardiovascular discovery, and is dedicated to innovation and changing the future of cardiovascular care worldwide.
Stem Cells
Texas Heart Institute has a long history of firsts in cardiovascular discovery, and is dedicated to innovation and changing the future of cardiovascular care worldwide.
Yutah Lab Heart Blue Light
Texas Heart Institute has a long history of firsts in cardiovascular discovery, and is dedicated to innovation and changing the future of cardiovascular care worldwide.

Founded in 1962 by the pioneering heart surgeon Dr. Denton A. Cooley, Texas Heart Institute built its mission of advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine around its endless pursuit of discovery.

  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s
  • 2010s
History of Firsts
  • Founding + Heart Transplant

    After its founding in 1962 by Denton A. Cooley, MD, the Texas Heart Institute began its long history of firsts with the world’s first successful heart transplant in 1968. The following year, THI pushed boundaries even further with the first ever transplant of an artificial heart in a human.
  • Perfusion Technology + LVADs

    THI’s first study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of an implantable left ventricular assist device (LVAD) led to the first bridge-to-transplant with an LVAD in 1978. THI also celebrated the opening of two labs: the Clayton Research Cardiac Catheterization Labs and the Electrophysiology Lab, and in 1976 it was the first to have an accredited School of Perfusion Technology in the U.S.
  • Laser-Based Procedures

    Texas Heart Institute led the way in laser-based procedures in the United States, with the first laser angioplasty and laser coronary endarterectomy procedures performed. It was also the first to perform a peripheral laser procedure in the state of Texas during this decade.
  • Medical Device Progress

    In 1991, the first patient in the world to leave the hospital with an electric, portable, battery-powered LVAD did so because of Texas Heart Institute. Several FDA approvals for LVADs as bridge to transplant solutions were received, which were major milestones in the availability of first generation ventricle assist devices in the United States.
  • Adult Stem Cell Therapy + Surgical Milestones

    Texas Heart Institute continued its history of firsts in cardiovascular discovery with the first FDA-approved clinical trial of adult stem cell therapy for congestive heart failure in the United States. The Institute also celebrated historical milestones such as performing 100,000 open heart operations and conducting its 1,000th heart transplant.
  • Total Artificial Heart + More

    Following years of leading research and discovery in medical devices, Texas Heart Institute completed the first successful implantation of a continuous-flow total artificial heart in a human being in 2011. THI celebrated its 50th anniversary, and was also the first in Texas to treat patients using LARIAT Suture Delivery Devices. With time still left in this decade, Texas Heart Institute continues to push for the next first in cardiovascular discovery.

Pushing the Boundaries of New Firsts

Regenerative Medicine + Stem Cell Therapy

We are leading the way in regenerative medicine research, pursuing multiple avenues to treat the underlying culprit in heart disease – the injured heart itself – through a variety of areas such as stem cell therapies, building new biologic organs and tissues, and cracking genetic myths.

Improving Medical Devices + Tools

We are improving medical devices – building on our 50+ years of experience – to make them smaller and more reliable. We are also enhancing diagnostic tools to pinpoint abnormalities before disease is even clinically apparent, which will help to direct curative and preventive therapies from the onset.

Stem Cell Engineering + New Small Molecule Drugs

We are genetically engineering stem cells that promote arteriole growth and enhance blood flow, and creating new small molecule drugs that can train stem cells to be even more effective at heart repair and generation.

The Next First Will Happen Here At Texas Heart Institute