Carl L. Backer


Carl L. Backer, MD, is the A.C. Buehler Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and the Division Head of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery at Children's Memorial Hospital. Dr. Backer received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Mayo Medical School in 1980 and completed his general, cardiac, and pediatric cardiac surgical training at Northwestern University Medical School in 1988. At that time he joined the staff at Children's Memorial Hospital. Dr. Backer and the late Dr. Farouk S. Idriss performed the first heart transplant at Children's Memorial Hospital on May 13, 1988. Dr. Backer is also the director of the Heart Transplant Program at Children's Memorial Hospital and has performed over 150 transplants.

Dr. Backer has a strong clinical interest in neonatal cardiac surgery, tracheal surgery, vascular ring surgery, and arrhythmia surgery. He has developed international referrals for these patients. The series of arrhythmia surgery patients at Children's Memorial Hospital is now over 200 patients, the vascular ring series is over 400 patients, and tracheal surgery is over 70 patients. Dr. Backer has authored or co-authored over 200 refereed articles, 70 book chapters, and 4 textbooks. He is the co-editor with Dr. Constantine Mavroudis of the textbook Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th editions.

Dr. Backer was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin. He was an undergraduate at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He married Julia Ford in 1992 and they have four children (ages 14, 13, 10, 7). He and his family live in Winnetka, Illinois.

Dr. Backer is a member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society, the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, the Doctor's Mayo Society, the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation, and 20 other surgical societies.

Dr. Backer is the editor of the Congenital Portal of CTSNet. Dr. Backer is the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Children's Heart Foundation, an organization that distributes over one-half million dollars per year in research grants.

Dr. Backer is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society. Dr. Backer is on the editorial board of the Journal of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the World Journal for Pediatric & Congenital Heart Surgery, and the Journal of Cardiac Surgery.