David Fullerton, MD
Professor, Surgery-Cardiothoracic

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Medical School:
  • MD, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine (1981)
Undergraduate School:
  • BS, Southern Methodist University (TX) (1975)
  • University of Washington Program (1982)
  • University of Colorado, Thoracic and Cardiac (1990)
  • University of Washington Program, Surgery (1987)
Languages: English
Department: Surgery-Cardiothoracic

Professional Titles

  • Professor, Surgery-Cardiothoracic
  • Chief

Recognition & Awards

  • America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly (2011)
  • Recipient, Best Doctors in America (2011)
  • America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly (2009)
  • Recipient, Best Doctors in America (2009)
  • Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising, University of Colorado, Academy of Medical Educators (2009)
  • America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly (2008)
  • America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly (2007)
  • Recipient, Best Doctors in America (2007)
  • Recipient, Best Doctors in America (2006)
  • America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly (2006)


  • Professor (1990)
    School of Medicine, Surgery


  • Bell MT, Reece TB, Smith PD, Mares J, Weyant MJ, Cleveland JC Jr, Freeman KA, Fullerton DA, Puskas F. Reproducable Paraplegia by Thoracic Aortic Occlusion in a Murine Model of Spinal Cord Ischemia-reperfusion. J Vis Exp. 2014 Mar 3;(85). PubMed PMID: 24637534
  • Steinberg BA, Zhao Y, He X, Hernandez AF, Fullerton DA, Thomas KL, Mills R, Klaskala W, Peterson ED, Piccini JP. Management of postoperative atrial fibrillation and subsequent outcomes in contemporary patients undergoing cardiac surgery: insights from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons CAPS-Care Atrial Fibrillation Registry. Clin Cardiol. 2014 Jan;37(1):7-13. PubMed PMID: 24353215
  • Bell MT, Puskas F, Bennett DT, Herson PS, Quillinan N, Fullerton DA, Reece TB. Dexmedetomidine, an a-2a adrenergic agonist, promotes ischemic tolerance in a murine model of spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Jan;147(1):500-6. PubMed PMID: 24035379
  • Bell MT, Puskas F, Agoston VA, Cleveland JC Jr, Freeman KA, Gamboni F, Herson PS, Meng X, Smith PD, Weyant MJ, Fullerton DA, Reece TB. Toll-like receptor 4-dependent microglial activation mediates spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion injury. Circulation. 2013 Sep 10;128(11 Suppl 1):S152-6. PubMed PMID: 24030400
  • Piccini JP, Zhao Y, Steinberg BA, He X, Mathew JP, Fullerton DA, Hegland DD, Hernandez AF, Mills RM, Klaskala W, Peterson ED. Comparative effectiveness of pharmacotherapies for prevention of atrial fibrillation following coronary artery bypass surgery. Am J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 1;112(7):954-60. PubMed PMID: 23850476
  • Bell MT, Agoston VA, Freeman KA, Puskas F, Herson PS, Mares J, Fullerton DA, Reece TB. Interruption of spinal cord microglial signaling by alpha-2 agonist dexmedetomidine in a murine model of delayed paraplegia. J Vasc Surg. 2013 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23850057
  • Nadlonek NA, Lee JH, Weyant MJ, Meng X, Fullerton DA. ox-LDL induces PiT-1 expression in human aortic valve interstitial cells. J Surg Res. 2013 Sep;184(1):6-9. PubMed PMID: 23849774
  • Nadlonek N, Lee JH, Reece TB, Weyant MJ, Cleveland JC Jr, Meng X, Fullerton DA. Interleukin-1 Beta induces an inflammatory phenotype in human aortic valve interstitial cells through nuclear factor kappa Beta. Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Jul;96(1):155-62. PubMed PMID: 23735716
  • Zeng Q, Song R, Ao L, Weyant MJ, Lee J, Xu D, Fullerton DA, Meng X. Notch1 promotes the pro-osteogenic response of human aortic valve interstitial cells via modulation of ERK1/2 and nuclear factor-?B activation. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013 Jul;33(7):1580-90. PubMed PMID: 23640488
  • Ward ST, Smith D, Andrei AC, Hicks GL Jr, Shemin RJ, Calhoon JH, Reed C, Verrier ED, Fullerton DA, Lee R. Comparison of cardiothoracic training curricula: integrated six-year versus traditional programs. Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Jun;95(6):2051-4; discussion 2054-6. PubMed PMID: 23602065
  • Sadaria MR, Yu JA, Meng X, Fullerton DA, Reece TB, Weyant MJ. Secretory phospholipase A2 mediates human esophageal adenocarcinoma cell growth and proliferation via ERK 1/2 pathway. Anticancer Res. 2013 Apr;33(4):1337-42. PubMed PMID: 23564770
  • Walker LA, Fullerton DA, Buttrick PM. Contractile protein phosphorylation predicts human heart disease phenotypes. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2013 Jun 15;304(12):H1644-50. PubMed PMID: 23564307
  • Smith PD, Bell MT, Puskas F, Meng X, Cleveland JC Jr, Weyant MJ, Fullerton DA, Reece TB. Preservation of motor function after spinal cord ischemia and reperfusion injury through microglial inhibition. Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 May;95(5):1647-53. PubMed PMID: 23541432
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Professional Memberships

  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons, President Elect
  • Western Thoracic Surgical Association, President
  • The American Surgical Association, Membership Committee
  • Residency Review Committee for Thoracic Surgery, Chair
  • Thoracic Surgery Directors Association, President
  • The American Geriatrics Society, Research Agenda Setting Council
  • International Society of Heart Transplantation, Member
  • Rocky Mountain Cardiac Surgical Society, Member
  • Association for Academic Surgery, Member
  • American Heart Association (AHA), Member
  • Society of University Surgeons, Member
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Member
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine, Member
  • The American Physiological Society, Member
  • Surgical Infection Society, Member
  • American College of Surgeons (ACS), Governor
  • American Association for Thoracic Surgeons, Member
  • Society of Clinical Surgery, Member
  • Cardiac Surgery Biology Club, Member
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Chair, Cardiac Exam Committee
  • Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, Secretary

Practice Locations

University of Colorado Hospital (UCH)
12605 E. 16th Ave
Aurora, CO 80045

Hospital Affiliation
  • University of Colorado Hospital
  • Children's Hospital Colorado
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Denver Health Medical Center

Specialty Information

  • Thoracic and Cardiac, Board Certification (1991, 2011)
  • Surgery, Board Certification (1988, 2008)
  • Surgical Critical Care, Board Certification (1991, 2011)
Conditions & Treatments
  • Heart and Circulation - Aneurysms
  • Heart and Circulation - Congenital Heart Disease
  • Heart and Circulation - Heart Valve Diseases
  • Surgery - Transplant Surgery
  • Surgery - Open Heart Surgery
  • Surgery - Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Surgery - Heart Transplant Surgery
  • Surgery - Adult Cardiac Surgery
  • Heart and Circulation
  • Surgery
Clinical Interests
I am interested in adult cardiac revascularization, adult heart and lung transplantation, pediatric cardiac transplantation, surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation, myocardial revascularization and valve replacement and congenital coronary malformations.

General Information

Medical Schools:
  • MD, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine (1981)
Undergraduate Schools:
  • BS, Southern Methodist University (TX) (1975)
  • University of Washington Program (1982)
Residency Programs:
  • University of Colorado, Thoracic and Cardiac (1990)
  • University of Washington Program, Surgery (1987)
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Languages: English
Department: Surgery-Cardiothoracic