Daithi Heffernan, MD, AFRCSI, is a trauma and critical care surgeon in the Department of Surgery and an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Surgical Research.
Dr. Heffernan attended medical school at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland where he received Bachelor degrees in Medicine (MB), Surgery (BCh) and Obstetrics and Gynecology (BAO). His surgical training in Ireland included an internship at Meath & Adelaide Hospitals in Dublin, Ireland followed by 4 years of surgical training at the Dublin Surgical Surgical Training Scheme in Dublin, Ireland, where he was appointed an Associate Fellow in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (AFRCSI).
Opportunities for a surgeon-scientist career in Ireland are limited; so Dr. Heffernan emigrated to America in 2000 aiming his career path on improving the treatment of the surgical critically ill and septic patient. On moving to America, he conducted a year of basic science research in hepatology at the University of California, San Francisco and undertook his surgical residency at the University of New Mexico Albuquerque, a very busy trauma center, under the tutelage of Dr. Donald Fry, a world renowned expert in surgical infections.
Dr. Heffernan continued his training with a Trauma/Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Albuquerque, NM, under Dr. Addison May whose research activities focused on surgical infections and helped establish his eventual connection with Brown University.
Under Dr. Alfred Ayala's mentorship in basic science, Dr. Heffernan has pursued a deeper understanding of the role of iNKT-cells in critical illness, trauma and infection. In 2011, he was awarded the Shock Society Junior Faculty Grant for this pursuit as well as a SURDNA fellowship from Brown University's Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research to expand the translation of his findings into the clinical arena.