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Blazing New Trails

The Debakey Medical Foundation Endows Surgery Chair, Advances Legacy of Transplant Pioneer

Todd Rosengart, M.D., holds an early photo of George P. Noon, M.D.

After completing his residency at Baylor College of Medicine, George P. Noon, M.D. ’60, joined the Baylor faculty and went on to blaze trails in organ transplantation and cardiac assist device development for more than 50 years. He collaborated with famed heart surgeon Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., to perform one of the first heart transplants in the United States in 1968. A few years later, Drs. Noon and DeBakey worked with NASA to develop a miniature axial flow pump, a device that rocketed cardiac surgery
forward and earned Dr. Noon induction into the Space Technology Hall of Fame.

For Dr. Noon’s legacy of life-saving accomplishments, Baylor recognized him in 2019 with its Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Just last year, The DeBakey Medical Foundation committed $2 million to honor and advance that legacy by establishing the George P. Noon, M.D., Endowed Chair in Surgery.

“Dr. Noon is a key reason why Baylor leads the way in transplantation and surgical innovation,” said H. David Short, M.D., president of The DeBakey Medical Foundation. “This chair celebrates his character and commitment and will help drive breakthroughs in surgery for years to come.”

Seated from left: Charles McCollum, M.D., George P. Noon, M.D., and Gabriel Loor, M.D.
Standing from left: Todd Rosengart, M.D., Paul Klotman, M.D., and H. David Short, M.D.

Members of the Noon family and The DeBakey Medical Foundation gathered at Baylor to honor Dr. Noon and celebrate the first chairholder, Gabriel Loor, M.D., associate professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and co-chief of the Division of Adult Cardiac Care at Baylor.

A nationally recognized physician-scientist in heart and lung transplants, Dr. Loor has already advanced the Noon legacy by establishing the Lung Transplant Program at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, a premier center in the region for treating end-stage lung disease. The program served a critical function during the COVID-19 pandemic for patients needing lung transplants after infection.

Like Dr. Noon, Dr. Loor exemplifies a passion for improving health through science, scholarship and ingenuity. With support from the Noon Chair, he will continue to elevate Baylor’s heart and lung transplant program.