Fellowship of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization

What is FELSO?

Induction into Fellowship of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization is an honor bestowed on select physicians, nurses, perfusionists, therapists and researchers who have provided distinctive contributions to the global art and science of extracorporeal support delivery. Election to FELSO identifies global recognition of those who have advanced the field in diverse and lasting ways. The charter class of FELSO inductees was selected in 2015. Annually, a small number of awardees will be presented with the honor.

Qualifications for Fellowship:

  • Extraordinary, distinctive contributions to the art and science of extracorporeal support.
  • Examples:
    • - Outstanding innovations in extracorporeal support
    • - Significant research and/or device development
    • - Extensive publication in the field
    • - Distinctive leadership/public advocacy
    • - Objective evidence of extraordinary compassionate care
  • Recommendation by other recognized leaders in extracorporeal support and by Fellows
  • Emphasis on diversity in:
    • - Discipline
    • - International representation


Nominations for Fellowship of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (FELSO) Now Open!

The ELSO community can now make nominations for induction to FELSO, the honorary designation recognizing extraordinary contributions to the art and science of ECLS. Applications will receive consideration by the FELSO Nominating Committee. Please see the application below for more information.  All applications must be received by April 15, 2017 for this years nominations.

FELSO Nomination Form

For more information please email FELSO@elso.org




Fellowship of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization: Inaugural Class-2015

Robert H. Bartlett MD

• Surgeon/Intensivist
• Considered the Father of ECMO
• Conducted the first successful cardiac and neonatal ECMO cases in the 1970s
• Helped to establish ELSO in 1989

Konrad Falke MD

• Intensivist
• Established the first German ECMO center in Berlin in the 1970s

Luciano Gattinoni MD

• Anesthesia/Intensivist
• Conducted the first trials of extracorporeal CO2 removal and is the premier respiratory
• Intensivist/physiologist in Europe

John Gibbon MD

• Invented the heart/lung machine and cardiopulmonary bypass inspired by a patient who died of pulmonary embolism
• The first CPB case was in 1953 in Philadelphia

Robert E. Gross MD

• Pediatric Surgeon
• Regarded as the father of pediatric surgery, cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, and pediatric surgical research

J. Donald Hill MD

• Cardiothoracic Surgeon
• Studied ECMO in the laboratory and performed the first successful ECMO case in 1971

Theodor Ted Kolobow PhD

• Experimental Surgeon
• Career entirely at the NIH where he developed membrane oxygenators and prolonged extracorporeal circulation.
• Trained scores of clinicians who developed clinical ECMO.

Pearl O'Rourke MD

• Pediatric Intensivist
• Performed the second prospective randomized trial of ECMO in newborn infants in 1987

Billie Short MD

• Neonatologist
• First neonatologist to fully develop an ECMO program based in neonatology.
• Drs. O’Rourke and Short established the first ECMO symposium in 1987, which continues to today.

John Toomsian CCP

• Perfusionist/Researcher.
• Working with Dr. Bartlett, has been involved with ECMO research since the mid 70s.
• Premier perfusionist in the development of ECMO.


Fellowship of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization: Class-2016

Warwick Butt MD

• Founder of Australian ECMO
• Started ECMO program in Melbourne -1980s

J. Devn Cornish MD

• Charter ELSO Steering Committee Member
• Innovator in VV ECMO and ECMO transport

Robin Chapman RN

• First ECMO Coordinator at Ann Arbor
• Developed the ECMO coordinator role

Jean-Yves Chevalier MD

• Pediatric intensivist
• Performed first ECMO in France

Richard Firmin MD

• Developed ECMO in the United Kingdom
• Authored 1996 ECMO RCT demonstrating benefit in neonates

Masahiro Nagaya MD

• Pioneering pediatric surgeon in congenital diaphragmatic hernia
• Performed first ECMO in Japan

Antonio Pesenti MD

• ECMO surgeon, University of Milan
• Partnered with Luciano Gattinoni to perform groundbreaking ECMO work with extracorporeal CO2 removal

Giles Peek MD

• Pioneering ECMO surgeon
• Authored the game-changing CESAR trial-advancing adult respiratory failure ECMO

Peter Rycus MPH

• Executive Director of ELSO
• Indispensable to ELSO

Charles Stolar MD

• Pediatric surgeon
• Founded influential ECMO program at Columbia Advanced care of CDH

Jay Zwischenberger MD

• Prolific ECMO innovator and inventor
• Invented the double lumen venous cannula, bicaval cannula
• Chair, ELSO Steering Committee post-9/11

Warren Zapol MD

• Authored the initial Adult ECMO RCT
• Developer of inhaled nitric oxide
• Prolific scientist-determined how marine mammals avoid hypoxia and the bends
• Member, Institute of Medicine