Fernando Torres, M.D.

Medical Director of Lung Transplantation; Head of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program

  • Internal Medicine - Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
  • Lung Transplant Medicine
  • Interstitial Lung Disease (Pulmonary Fibrosis)


Fernando Torres, M.D., is a Professor of Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Director of the Lung Transplant and Pulmonary Hypertension Programs at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.

His clinical interests include pulmonary hypertension, lung transplantation, lung volume reduction surgery for emphysema, viral infections in immunosuppressed patients, and clinical outcomes research in lung transplantation and pulmonary hypertension. 

Dr. Torres has served as principal investigator or coinvestigator in many clinical trials, including multicenter clinical trials to improve the survival of lung transplant patients. In addition, he is working on testing new equipment to improve the donor organ supply. 

Dr. Torres earned his medical degree at Cornell University Medical College in New York. He completed his internship and residency at UT Southwestern and a fellowship in pulmonary disease, critical care medicine, lung transplantation, and lung volume reduction at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.

Since joining UT Southwestern in 2000, Dr. Torres developed the Pulmonary Hypertension Program, now the largest such program in the United States. In 2009 he assumed directorship of UT Southwestern's Lung Transplant Program, which is the eighth largest in the country.

Dr. Torres is board certified in pulmonary disease and critical care medicine. Among other honors, Texas Monthly named him a Super Doctor in 2018 and he was included in D Magazine's Best Doctors list for 2018 and 2021.

In 2018, Dr. Torres received UT Southwestern's Program Development Award.

Meet Dr. Torres

Lung transplant specialist Fernando Torres, M.D., sees something magical happen when one of his patients receives a lung transplant: They can breathe again, without an oxygen tank.

"We give patients with advanced lung disease a new life.”

People who develop advanced lung disease see their quality of life deteriorate over time, but within two weeks after receiving a lung transplant, everything changes.

“They can start doing things they could only dream of up to that point,” Dr. Torres says.

A pulmonologist by training, Dr. Torres directs UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Lung Transplant Program, which has grown into one of the largest in the country. Thanks to the program’s development of donor management procedures, the wait time for a lung transplant has been shortened to only months.

He sees lung transplantation as the safety net for patients with pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, and other advanced lung diseases.

When patients with advanced lung disease can no longer benefit from medical therapy, Dr. Torres steps in to explain lung transplantation, follow them through the transplant process, and help them recover after surgery.

Dr. Torres and his team of physicians have specialized training in lung transplantation. They work in tandem with the physicians in the advanced lung diseases programs to determine the best course of treatment for these patients. This specialization distinguishes them from other programs in the region.

He is also involved in clinical research. He is currently investigating increasing the supply of donor organs through improved technology that assesses the organs. In a separate clinical trial, he is part of a multicenter effort to improve survival in lung transplant patients using novel medications for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) viral infection.

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (1997-2000), Pulmonary Diseases & Critical Care Medicine
  • Residency - UT Southwestern Medical Center (1995-1997), Internal Medicine
  • Internship - UT Southwestern Medical Center (1994-1995), Internal Medicine
  • Medical School - Weill Cornell Medical College (1990-1994)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Texas Medical Association
  • Pulmonary Hypertension Association
  • American Thoracic Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation
  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Physicians
Honors & Awards
  • D Magazine Best Doctor 2021
  • Program Development Award – UT Southwestern 2018
  • Incentive for Excellence 1988, Scholarship Prize from NSF: Physics-1988, Chemistry-1989
  • C.H. Ferguson Scholarship 1988
  • Golden Key National Honor Society 1990, Member
  • Cornell University - 1990 1990, Graduated with distinction in all subjects
Books & Publications
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Lung Transplantation

Clinical Focus

  • Lung Transplant Medicine
  • Interstitial Lung Disease (Pulmonary Fibrosis)
  • Lung (Pulmonary) Disorders
  • Pulmonary Hypertension

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Q&A by Dr. Torres