David Nelson, M.D.

Transplant Medicine


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3400 N.W. Expressway
Oklahoma City, OK 73112

David Nelson, M.D., is the Chief of Heart Transplant Medicine at the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center.

Dr. Nelson is a graduate of the Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University in Chicago/Evanston, Illinois. The Honors Program admitted distinguished high school graduates directly into Northwestern University’s School of Medicine in an accelerated six-year program. He then completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Northwestern followed by a Pulmonary and Heart/Lung Transplant Fellowship at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, the site of America’s first successful heart transplant and the world’s first successful heart/lung transplant. Dr. Nelson trained at Stanford under Dr. Norman Shumway, the “father of heart transplantation”. Dr. Nelson has been UNOS approved in both heart and lung transplantation.

Dr. Nelson was previously the Medical Director of Cardiac Transplantation at the Arizona Heart Institute and the Utah Cardiac Transplant Program, LDS Hospital. Under Dr. Nelson’s directorship, in 2002 the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute set a benchmark with a 100% one-year survival rate and in 2003 the Heart and Lung Transplant Team was honored with the INTEGRIS Team Excellence Award. The heart transplant program posted 100% 1-year survival rate again in 2012.

Dr. Nelson currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Transplantation and in 2013 was Co-Chair of the first HRSA Donor Management Research Consensus Conference.

Dr. Nelson served as the UNOS Region 4 (Oklahoma and Texas) Associate Councillor from 2008-2010 and assumed the Region 4 Councillor position from 2010-2012. He also served a 2-year term on the UNOS Board of Directors. In addition, he has served on the UNOS Membership and Professional Standards Committee, the UNOS Thoracic Committee and the UNOS Scientific Advisory Committee during development of the first Center Specific Data Report. He formerly served as Chairman of the Medical Affairs Committee of the Intermountain Organ Recovery System. He was a UNOS Presidential appointee to a task force assessing the impact of change in national heart allocation policy as well as serving as co-chairman of the Scientific Knowledge Committee of the HRSA Donor Management Task Force.

Dr. Nelson is the Past-Chair of the Thoracic Advisory Council of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and oversaw the Council’s transition to an AST Community of Practice. He has served on the Nominating and Education Committees of the AST. He previously chaired the AST’s Transplant Intensivists Workforce. Dr. Nelson serves on the Communications Committee of the International Society of Heart Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) as the Representative of the Scientific Council of Heart Failure and Transplantation of the ISHLT.

Dr. Nelson has researched molecular genetics and studied airway reactivity in heart/lung transplant recipients at Stanford University and has had scientific publications on the care of heart transplant and left ventricular assist device patients.

Dr. Nelson has previously worked with Senator Orrin Hatch’s office and Senator Tom Coburn’s office regarding transplant legislation. He also served as the AST Public Policy Committee and was a regular attendee of the American College of Chest Physician’s Annual Capitol Hill Caucus.

Dr. Nelson has been a member of the American Society of Transplantation, the International Society for Heart Transplantation, the Transplantation Society, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the Infectious Disease Society of America.




An Introduction: Dr. David Nelson

Dr. David Nelson has been chief of heart transplant medicine at INTEGRIS Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute since 1994.
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