Dr. Atala is the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the W.H. Boyce Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology at Wake Forest University. Dr. Atala is a practicing surgeon and a researcher in the area of regenerative medicine. His current work focuses on growing new human cells, tissues, and organs.
Dr. Atala works with several journals and serves in various roles, including editor-in-chief of Stem Cells- Translational Medicine, Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy, and Therapeutic Advances in Urology; as Associate Editor of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, The Journal of Rejuvenation Research, Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine, Gene Therapy and Regulation, and Current Reviews in Urology.
Dr. Atala is a recipient of many awards, including the U.S. Congress funded Christopher Columbus Foundation Award, bestowed on a living American who is currently working on a discovery that will significantly affect society, the Samuel D. Gross Prize, awarded every five years to a national leading surgical researcher by the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery, the Barringer Medal from the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons, and the Gold Cystoscope award from the American Urological Association for advances in the field. 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. A Time magazine poll ranked Dr. Atala as the 56th most influential person of the year in 2007. In 2009 Dr. Atala was featured in U.S. News & World Report as one of 14 Pioneers of Medical Progress in the 21st Century, and his work in 2010 was listed by Smithsonian magazine as one of 40 things to know about the next 40 years.