Anthony Atala asks, "Can we grow organs instead of transplanting them?" His lab at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is doing just that — engineering over 30 tissues and whole organs.
Anthony Atala is the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where his work focuses on growing and regenerating tissues and organs.
His team engineered the first lab-grown organ to be implanted into a human -- a bladder -- and is developing experimental fabrication technology that can "print" human tissue on demand.
In 2007, Atala and a team of Harvard University researchers showed that stem cells can be harvested from the amniotic fluid of pregnant women.
This and other breakthroughs in the development of smart bio-materials and tissue fabrication technology promises to revolutionize the practice of medicine.
Dr. Atala is a recipient of awards, including the US Congress funded Christopher Columbus Foundation Award, bestowed on a living American who is currently working on a discovery that will significantly affect society, 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, and the Edison Science/Medical Award for work in 3D Bioprinting.
In 2011 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2014 was inducted to the National Academy of Inventors as a Charter Fellow.
Dr. Atala's work was listed as Time Magazine's top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year, and as Discover Magazine's Number 1 Top Science Story of the Year in the field of medicine in 2007.
He serves on the Editorial Board of the scientific journal Rejuvenation Research.