Anthony Atala, MD, FACS, FACS, Director of Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) and the W. H. Boyce Professor and Chair of Urology was presented with the 2022 Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
The international surgical award from the ACS honors living surgeons who are innovators of a new development or technique in any field of surgery. It is made possible through a gift from Julius H. Jacobson II, MD, FACS, and his wife Joan. Dr. Jacobson is a general vascular surgeon known for his pioneering work in the development of microsurgery.
Through Dr. Atala’s work, he has expanded WFIRM as a leader in translating scientific discovery into regenerative medicine clinical therapies. He currently leads an interdisciplinary team of more than 450 researchers and physicians. WFIRM has developed 15 clinically used technology-based applications, including muscle, urethra, cartilage, reproductive tissues, and skin. Currently, the Institute is working on more than 40 tissues and organs.
Dr. Atala and his WFIRM team have developed specialized 3-D printers to engineer tissues. This work is accomplished by using cells to create various tissues and organs, including miniature organs called organoids to create body-on-a-chip systems. Dr. Atala and his team also discovered a stem cell population derived from both the amniotic fluid and the placenta, which are currently being used for clinically relevant research applications.
The ACS is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 84,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. "FACS" designates that a surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.