Dr. Ashburn came to the Data Centre in July, 2001 as the 1st Congenital Heart surgeons Society (CHSS) Data Centre Clinical Research Fellow. David was born in Bristol Tennessee. During his childhood he became an Eagle Scout. He earned an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Biology at Furman University, South Carolina. Prior to entering medical school he spent a year as a graduate research assistant at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
David graduated from Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University, elected member Alpha Omega Alpha. In 1999 he entered general surgical training at Bowman Gray School of Medicine, North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, NC. His interest in congenital heart surgery led him to do elective rotations at the Mayo Clinic and University of Alabama. He had completed 3 years of his general surgery residency before entering the Data Centre.
During his 2-year Fellowship, David earned his Master's degree from the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. His Masters thesis is titled "Utility of Competing Risks in the Analysis of Time-Related Outcomes of Patients Undergoing Surgical Correction of Congenital Heart Defects". He set an impressive standard of academic productivity including plenary session presentations at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery in two successive years. He won numerous awards and visited 6 CHSS institutions as an invited guest. He and his wife Candice gave birth to the 1st of their 3 children during his Fellowship.
David returned to Wake Forest and completed his General Surgery Residency and then entered Thoracic Surgery residency at the University of Michigan where he continued to excel. His Thoracic residency was to be completed June 2007 prior to entering a Pediatric Fellowship with Dr. Edward Bove. Tragically David died in June 2007 in an airplane accident during transplant organ retrieval.