Dr. Pierson received his BA from Princeton University in English and American Studies in 1978, and his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1983. His postgraduate clinical training included General Surgery at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (1983-1990), Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (1990-1992), and clinical and research fellowship in Cardiothoracic Transplantation at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England (1993-1994). He joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University as Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation in 1994, with staff appointments at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Nashville VAMC. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1999. In 2002 he was recruited as Clinical Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation at University of Maryland Baltimore, with staff appointments in Cardiac Surgery at UMMC and Baltimore VAMC. In 2006 he was promoted to Professor of Surgery at University of Maryland, and served as Director of the Surgical Service at the Baltimore VA Medical Center (VA Maryland Health Care System) from 2006 until 2012. From 2012-2014 he served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Interim Director of Research Affairs for the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Since 2014 he has served as Senior Associate Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Surgery, UMSOM.