Distinguished Scientists 2012 - Warren M. Zapol, MD, FAHA
Dr. Warren M. Zapolis the emeritus Anesthetist-in-Chief at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Reginald Jenney Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School. He is currently the Director of the MGH Anesthesia Center for Critical Care Research. Dr. Zapol is a graduate of MIT and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. After completing a residency in Anesthesiology at MGH he has remained on the staff since 1972. Supported by the NHLBI, Dr. Zapol’s research efforts include studies of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), acute respiratory distress syndrome, and cardiopulmonary physiology in animals and humans.
Supported by the National Science Foundation, he has led nine Antarctic expeditions to study the diving mechanisms and adaptations of the Weddell seal. Through that research his team learned how marine mammals avoid the bends and hypoxia during prolonged free diving. In 2003, he was awarded the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s Inventor of the Year Award for the treatment of hypoxic human newborns with inhaled nitric oxide, a technique now used to save the lives of over ten thousand babies each year in the USA that he pioneered with his MGH team. In 2006, a steep mountain glacier in Antarctica was named for Dr. Zapol by the United States Board on Geographic Names.
In 2008, he was appointed by President George W. Bush and 2012 reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2012 as an academic representative to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.