Shaf Keshavjee only South Asian to receive Order of Canada


GOVERNOR General David Johnston announced on Friday 95 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The new appointees included three Companions (C.C.), 13 Officers (O.C.) and 79 Members (C.M.).

Shaf Keshavjee was appointed Officer to the Order of Canada.

Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 6 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.

Keshavjee’s citation read: “For his innovative contributions to thoracic surgery, notably in the development of a process that has improved lung transplantation worldwide.”


ACCORDING to the University of Toronto website: “Shafique “Shaf” Keshavjee moved to Canada from Kenya when he was 12.  He finished his medical studies at the University of Toronto in 1985 and was strongly attracted to surgery.  He trained in surgery at Toronto General Hospital in the 1980s.  After many of the surgical giants of TGH left for lucrative American posts, Keshavjee revived the lung transplant program in Toronto.  Since becoming the head of the transplant program in 1997, he has pioneered the use of an artificial lung and developed a system to preserve and repair donor lungs for transplantation.”

The website www.dotscanada states: “Dr. Shaf Keshavjee completed his medical training at the University of Toronto in 1985, and subsequently trained in General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto followed by fellowship training at Harvard University and the University of London for airway surgery and heart-lung transplantation, respectively. He currently leads a team whose studies in transplantation will have a significant impact on treatment outcomes for patients with lung disease at UHN and around the world.  Dr. Keshavjee was appointed UHN’s Surgeon-in-Chief in 2010.

“An integral part of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at UHN, Dr. Keshavjee has taken on leadership roles in all facets of this specialized area of care: as a skilled surgeon and Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program; and as a researcher and Director of the Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories. To improve lung function after transplantation, Dr. Keshavjee has developed a lung preservation solution to preserve donor lungs en route to transplant. This solution has become the standard technique used by transplantation programs around the world.  Dr. Keshavjee has further attracted worldwide attention for his pioneering research to recondition and repair injured human donor lungs using a combination the Toronto XVIVO Lung Perfusion System, making them suitable for transplantation into patients and enhancing the number of donor lungs that are available.

“Dr Keshavjee has served on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, The Canadian Society of Transplantation and on the Governing Council of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. He has received numerous awards for his continuing contributions to his field, including the George Armstrong Peters Young Investigator Award, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, the Colin Woolf Award for Excellence in Continuing Medical Education and the highest award for research achievement in the Department of Surgery: the Lister Prize in Surgery.”


Thoracic surgery is the surgical subspecialty that deals with diseases of the chest (thorax), as well as the trachea, esophagus, and stomach. Some of the more common conditions we treat include: lung cancer, esophageal cancer, hiatus hernia (esophageal reflux), metastatic disease to the lung, and end-stage lung disease from any cause. Many of these operations are performed using minimally invasive surgery.


  1. I am so happy to hear of Dr. Kashavjee receiving this well deserved Honor ! There is many of us double lung & single lung recipients who are pleased to hear he has finally been recognized for his tremendous contributions.. We are all so grateful to him and his talented team. Thanks Dr. K ! -Kim

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