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Medical Center Physician-Scientist Named to Prestigious Institute of Medicine

Wake Forest Urology Chair and WFIRM director Anthony Atala, MD
Anthony Atala, MD

Winston-Salem, N.C. – Oct. 18, 2011 Anthony Atala, M.D., chair and professor of urology and director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, is one of 65 new members named to the prestigiousInstitute of Medicine (IOM). Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.  

Atala is one of only two physicians in North Carolina named to the most recent class of the IOM, which is a branch of the National Academy of Sciences. As an independent, nonprofit organization, the IOM works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. 

“Dr. Atala is a pioneer in the field of regenerative medicine who has made significant contributions to the era of modern medicine,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “As a visionary and accomplished physician and scientist, he is an excellent choice to participate in the IOM’s important work.”

Atala led a team of researchers/physicians who were the first in the world to build replacement organs (bladders) in the lab and implant them in patients. Earlier this year, his team announced long-term success implanting lab-built replacement urine tubes in five boys. Researchers at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine are currently working to engineer replacement organs and develop cell therapies for more than 30 different areas of the body.

Atala joins three other Medical Center faculty who are current members of the IOM: John D. McConnell, M.D., Thomas B. Clarkson, D.V.M., who established the Medical Center’s non-human primate research center, and Richard Janeway, M.D., former dean and executive vice president of health affairs at Wake Forest University.

The newly elected members raise IOM's total active membership to 1,688 and the number of foreign associates to 102.  With an additional 80 members holding emeritus status, IOM's total membership is 1,870.

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