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October 29, 2009

Dr. Christina Vassileva Christina Vassileva portrait has joined the faculty at the Southern Illinois School of Medicine as an assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery. [Note: She has since been promoted to associate professor.] She practices all aspects of cardiothoracic surgery but specializes in minimally invasive valve surgery including mitral valve repair.  She also is interested in the surgical treatment of women with cardiovascular disease.

Prior to joining SIU, Vassileva completed her cardiothoracic fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School (2009).  She completed her general surgery residency, and received her medical degree at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore (2007, 2002).  She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Northeastern University in Boston (1998).                                           

Vassileva is actively involved in various clinical studies in cardiac surgery.  Her research interests include valvular heart disease, mitral valve repair, atrial fibrillation, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and the outcomes of women undergoing cardiac surgery.  She has published in major cardiovascular journals and has written a book chapter for the “Johns Hopkins Manual of Cardiothoracic Surgery.”                                                                                           

While in medical school, Vassileva was the recipient of the William Stewart Halsted Award for Outstanding Performance in Surgery.  During general surgery training, she was awarded the John L. Cameron Technical Excellence in Surgery Award.  During cardiothoracic training, she received the John Collins Cardiothoracic Scholar Award.