Texas Medical Center

Texas Medical Center Announces New President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert Robbins, M.D.


By Lisa Mayes

Effective November 5, 2012, Dr. Robert Robbins is the new president and chief executive officer for Texas Medical Center.

Robert (Bobby) Robbins, M.D., who currently is professor and chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford and director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, says he’s a longtime fan of the leading-edge research and lifesaving treatments that take place every day in the Texas Medical Center.

“I have great respect and admiration for what takes place in the Texas Medical Center,” Robbins said, “and I’m humbled to have been selected and entrusted with this leadership position.”

Robbins was selected from an initial pool of 24 candidates, said TMC Board of Directors Chairman David Underwood, who also chaired the presidential search committee.

“We are fortunate to have such an outstanding and experienced physician to lead our organization,” said Underwood, “and we look forward to working with him as the Texas Medical Center continues to grow and move forward, building on the solid foundation and record growth achieved by Dr. Richard Wainerdi during his 28 highly successful years as TMC president.”

Wainerdi will retire Jan. 1, 2013, at which point his title will become Texas Medical Center president emeritus.

“I fully expect that Dr. Robbins will guide and support the TMC institutions through the major changes in health care which are ahead of us,” Wainerdi said, “and I urge everyone to offer him the same support and kindness they have given me over the years.”




Robbins earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and an M.D. from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he also completed his general surgery internship and residency. He completed a cardiothoracic surgery residency at Stanford in 1992, where he was chief resident. Afterward, he completed postdoctoral fellowships in pediatric congenital heart surgery at Emory University in Atlanta and Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

Along the way, he spent two years as a clinical associate at the National Institutes of Health and six months as a postdoctoral fellow in cardiothoracic transplantation at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York.

Today, he’s recognized as one of the world’s most respected cardiothoracic surgeons, and physician colleagues from around the world regularly call him for advice in treating a variety of complex cardiac diseases.

He directs Stanford’s Heart-Lung and Lung Transplantation programs, as well as its Cardiothoracic Transplantation Laboratory. His key research interests lie in stem cell therapy for the treatment of congestive heart failure, genetic determinants of disease, personalized medicine in which treatments are tailored to each patient’s genetic profile, and regenerative medicine in which blood vessels are engineered and grown.

He and his wife Debbie, an attorney, have two college-age sons – Craig, a freshman at Ole Miss, and Clay, a junior at Dartmouth.