Syde A. Taheri Lectureship

Dr. Elias with the Division of Vascular Surgery Program.

Dr. Syde A. Taheri is known nationally and internationally for his multiple inventions. He is one of the co-inventors of the Talent Endovascular Aortic Stent Grafts, primarily now used in its thoracic role, as well as significant contributions to venous valve surgery and disease.  

Dr. Taheri was born in the desert city of Yadz, Iran. He began his training in Tehran, receiving his MD from the University of Tehran in 1951. He then moved to the United States where he completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular Surgery at Baylor University College of Medicine in Houston Texas, under the aegis of Dr. Michael Debakey. He then completed a fellowship in surgical research at the University at Buffalo, prior to embarking on a career in private practice in 1961. He began his practice primarily out of the Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital.

He received over 70 patents throughout his career. He had a vision of minimally invasive surgery for aortic disease, and patented his concept in 1987 for implanting a tubular graft through a blood vessel. The first clinical research on this concept was done at UB in 1991 and the first human implant was in Australia in 1995. Clinically, he was known for his rapid handling of ruptured aneurysms, and the phrase “big bites.”

He received numerous honors including from the International Symposium of Endovascular Treatment of Aortic Diseases for invention of Talent thoracic stent graft which he co-invented with Howard Leonhardt at SVS of South America in Rio de Janeiro Brazil 2005, the Award for Achievement in Health Care from D’Youville College, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Western New York Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. He also founded a local medical journal, Tracks, which he edited for 10 years, and served as an Associated Editor for the International Journal of Angiology. He was the President of the Western New York Vascular Society. He authored over 60 manuscripts in peer reviews journals.

He was an “out of the box” thinker, coming up with many concepts in and out of medicine. His research primarily focused on venous valvular disease and aortic aneurysms in the medical fields. His thinking, however, was not limited to medicine. He envisioned injecting French fries with other vegetables to make them healthier, and patented that concept in 2000. Thinkers as brilliant and unique as Taheri are few and far between, he will be greatly missed.