Each day, Maryam Valapour, M.D., M.P.P. strives to improve the process for lung donors and recipients. Through her efforts, she provides people with the ability to do something essential to life: breathe.
After finishing her training in Pulmonary and Clinical Care Medicine as well as Bioethics and Health Policy at prestigious Johns Hopkins University, Valapour made the move to Minneapolis to put her expertise to work.
At the University of Minnesota, Valapour serves in both the Center for Bioethics and the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. When asked why she chose the U of M, Valapour points to the long history of the institution’s pioneering organ transplant program.
“This is the place to be. This is where some of the greats are,” said Valapour.
Valapour serves as senior investigator for the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), the scientific branch of the national organ allocation and transplantation system located in Minneapolis. In this role, she crafts formulas for nationwide lung distribution. Valapour’s goal is finding the fairest way to help as many people as possible.
In her research, Valapour primarily focuses on ethical concerns, informed consent, and protection of living lung donors. She feels people deserve the most accurate and thorough information about the transplantation process so they can make a decision that best fits their needs.
In addition to her research and policy work, Dr. Valapour spends time in the clinic. She works with patients who have undergone, or are considering, lung transplantation.
This aspect of her job is where she sees the impact of policy firsthand.
“When I think about changing the process, I consider how it will affect the patients I see in the clinic,” said Valapour. “You have to know the impact of your work to know its relevance.”
As her research moves forward, Valapour plans to continue analyzing and improving informed consent guidelines as well as fine-tuning the national transplant system. She remains devoted to delivering the highest quality of life to the most people.
“There is something seriously and scientifically cool about transplantation. Improving the quality of life, it’s intellectually fascinating and it’s fun.” said Valpour.
Maryam Valapour has dedicated her career to changing the game for transplant patients and the process they follow. She crafts national policy by keeping it grounded in clinical practice, and continues to emphasize the best practices for all as the foundation of her work. That is truly what makes her a Gamechanger.