Jacob (Jay) Lavee is the Director of the Heart Transplantation Unit and Deputy Director of the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the Leviev Heart Center of the Sheba Medical Center and Professor of Surgery at the Tel Aviv University Sackler Faculty of Medicine in Israel. He received his M.D. cum laude degree from the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Medicine and was subsequently trained in cardio-thoracic surgery at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, and in heart and lung transplantation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in the USA. In 1991 he founded the Heart Transplantation Unit at the Sheba Medical Center which has since become the largest of its kind in Israel, with over 300 heart transplantations performed to date. Since 1997 he has also developed an active ventricular assist device programme and in 2001 he has implanted the first in-man HeartMate II left ventricular assist device.
Jacob is the immediate past President of the Israel Transplantation Society and past Chairman of the Israel Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He currently also serves as Chairman of the Heart and Lung Transplantation committee of Israel’s National Transplant Center, as member of the Israeli National Council of Heart and Vascular Diseases, as member of the Board of Councilors of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group, a former member of the Ethics Committee of The Transplantation Society and a member of the international advisory board of the Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) NGO.
Jacob Lavee spearheaded the preparations of the Israeli Organ Transplant Law in 2008, with its unique clauses which have significantly reduced outgoing transplant tourism from Israel, blocking outgoing transplant patients to China altogether, while significantly increasing local deceased and living donations by prioritising registered organ donors.