atalaWe are very pleased to announce that Dr. Anthony Atala, M.D., will be the keynote speaker for the 2017 Society for In Vitro Biology annual meeting.  His seminar, “Regenerative Medicine: Current Concepts and Changing Trends” will be presented on June 12th in Raleigh, NC.

Dr. Atala is the Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the W. Boyce Professor and Chair of Urology at Wake Forest University.  He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, and then proceeded to earn an M.D. from the University of Louisville.   He spent time as both a fellow and as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School before moving to his current position at Wake Forest University as a practicing surgeon and researcher.  Dr. Atala’s team has pioneered techniques to first seed scaffolding biomaterials with stem cells and differentiated cells, and then subsequently culture the complexes in in vitro bioreactors so they can form tissues and organs.  He has successfully implanted these fabricated organs into animals, and even human patients, with clinically favorable outcomes.  This work has earned widespread recognition as Time Magazine’s top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year in 2007, as a top 5 medical breakthrough of the year in 2011, and as one of 5 discoveries that will change the future of organ transplants in 2013.  Dr. Atala’s research has also been designated by Discover Magazine as the top science story of the year in the field of medicine in 2007, by Smithsonian Magazine in 2010 as one the 40 things to know about the next 40 years and by the Huffington Post as one of the 18 great ideas for the future in 2011. In 2015, Scientific American named him as one of the world’s most influential people in biotechnology.

In addition to recognition by mass media outlets, Dr. Atala has often been recognized as a leader in the field of regenerative medicine by his scientific and industrial peers.  He has received the World Technology Award in Health and Medicine, the Samuel D. Gross Prize in Surgical Research, the Innovation Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Rocovich Gold Medal, the Edison Science and Medicine Award, and the prestigious, U.S. Congress funded Christopher Columbus Foundation Award.  Dr. Atala has served as editor for several journals and has been a member of multiple national advisory boards and committees.  He had published over 500 articles and has been a mentor to hundreds of researchers and clinicians during his career.

As a scientist who has pushed past the previously known boundaries and limitations of in vitro tissue and organ culture methodology, our society is excited to have Dr. Atala as our 2017 keynote speaker.

Submitted by Joshua Gasiorowski