January 10, 2024
Anthony Atala, MD, FACS, is the new Chair of the ACS Board of Regents (BoR). The announcement of his election to a 1-year term came during Clinical Congress 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Dr. Atala, a pediatric urologist, is the George Link Jr. professor and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the W. H. Boyce professor and chair of urology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is recognized for his groundbreaking work in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to chair the Board of Regents of the ACS,” said Dr. Atala. “I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues as we continue to work collectively to improve the care of the surgical patient and serve our members as they strive to deliver the highest quality of surgical care.”
As Chair, Dr. Atala also will lead the BoR Finance and Executive Committees, as well as work in concert with ACS Executive Director and CEO Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS. The Board, comprised of 24 members, shapes policies and supervises the overall management of the College. The varied backgrounds and expertise of the Board members allow for a broad representation of the surgical community and its multifaceted perspectives on current issues.
An ACS Fellow since 1996, Dr. Atala has served as a member and Chair of the Advisory Council for Urology, a member of the Board of Governors, and has been a strong and thoughtful contributor to the ACS Surgical Forum and Surgical Research Committee. He presented the prestigious Martin Memorial Named Lecture, titled Regenerative Medicine: New Approaches to Health Care, during the ACS Clinical Congress in 2010.
Dr. Atala’s innovations in regenerative medicine have earned a reputation as a pioneer in the field and numerous accolades, including the 2022 ACS Jacobson Innovation Award.
In addition to his role with the ACS, Dr. Atala has been an active member and leader in several professional and governmental organizations, contributing his expertise to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute’s Advisory Board, and founding multiple societies dedicated to the advancement of regenerative medicine. He has published more than 800 peer-reviewed journal articles and holds more than 300 national and international patents.
Fabrizio Michelassi, MD, FACS, a gastrointestinal surgeon, was elected Vice-Chair of the BoR.
Dr. Michelassi is the Lewis Atterbury Stimson Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine, and surgeon-in-chief of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine, both in New York. He is renowned for his expertise in the surgical treatment of gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancers, as well as for his innovative treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
An ACS Fellow since 1987, Dr. Michelassi has held several leadership positions in the organization. He has been Regent since 2016, serving on the BoR’s Research and Optimal Patient Care Committee, Antiracism Committee, and others. Since 2021, Dr. Michelassi has been Chair of the Program Committee, which designs the educational program of Clinical Congress. He also has been Chair of the Board of Governors and served on numerous other ACS committees.