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Spotlight: Cardiothoracic surgeon Gabriel Loor, MD, conducted first “breathing lung” transplant in Midwest

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Gabriel Loor, MD, loves enacting positive change in the world.
Gabe Loor, MD, is a cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in aortic procedures and lung transplants. The University of Minnesota’s reputation as a leader in cardiac surgery drew Loor to the Midwest.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Gabriel Loor, MD, joined University of Minnesota Health in 2013, but in that short time he has already accumulated an impressive list of accomplishments.

Loor, was previously employed at the Cleveland Clinic, said he was drawn to the Midwest by the University of Minnesota’s historic reputation as a leader in cardiac surgery. Loor sees patients at University of Minnesota Medical Center and Fairview Southdale Hospital.

In 2014 he conducted the first “breathing lung” transplant in the Midwest using innovative technology that keeps the donor lungs warm and breathing during transportation to improve the health of the organ.

Why did you choose to become a doctor?
I love the ability to do something positive in the world. It makes all the effort worth it. Being a doctor allows me to combine my interests in arts and science for the improvement of individual patients.

What is one of your favorite memories from your job?
After I completed my first transplant, I walked out into the family waiting room. I was fresh out of my fellowship. There were 16 relatives from around the country crammed into the room waiting to hear how things went. It was amazing to see their joy when I told them how pleased we were with the outcome of the operation.

What do you love about the community you serve?
The people of Minnesota embody all the positive attributes of the Midwest. They are kind, empathetic, hardworking and motivated. It is very easy and a real privilege to care for these folks.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I love spending time with my family. My wife and three children are extremely proud and supportive of what I do. I love supporting them also.

Tell us one surprising or interesting fact about yourself.
I love to play music. Before I committed myself to full-time medicine, I played guitar professionally. I was in a band with a publishing and recording contract and I toured in the United States during my undergrad collegiate years. That experience helped me learn a lot about people, teams and the elements of a successful enterprise.

Where did you come from and what made you come to University of Minnesota Health?
I completed three years of training at the Cleveland Clinic under the mentorship of Marc Gilinov, Gosta Petterson, Bruce Lytle and other phenomenal cardiac surgeons. I knew that I had learned something special that I could bring to a new area. The University of Minnesota had all of the elements necessary for growth in transplant, adult cardiac and aortic surgery—which are areas of great interest for me. It is a real privilege to work at a place that is credited with developing the fundamentals for modern-day cardiac surgery.