Public Lecture to Focus on Regenerative Medicine

October 10, 2007

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Anthony Atala, M.D., director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, will present a lecture from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday Oct. 19 on the science of growing new tissues and organs in the laboratory. The talk, in Babcock Auditorium on the Medical Center campus, is free and open to the public.
Atala will speak on “Regenerative Medicine: New Approaches in Healthcare for the 21st Century,” as part of the opening session of Alumni Weekend, an event in which about 400 graduates of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine will return to campus for reunions.
Atala’s current work focuses on growing new human cells, tissues and organs (including kidney, blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, bladder, pancreas, and others) to repair or replace tissues or organs damaged by age, cancer, trauma, or abnormal development. In addition to his research in regenerative medicine, Atala is the W.H. Boyce Professor and chairman of the Department of Urology.
Atala has received international recognition for his work to grow bladders in the laboratory and for discovering a new stem cell derived from human amniotic fluid and placenta. The cells can assume the characteristics of many specialized cells in the body, potentially replacing diseased or damaged tissue. The bladders, grown from patients’ own cells, were successfully implanted in patients with spina bifida. This technology has the potential to one day help address the shortage of organs available for transplantation.
Atala has led or served several national professional and government committees, including the National Institutes of Health working group on Cells and Developmental Biology, and the National Institutes of Health Bioengineering Consortium. He heads a team of more than 100 physicians and researchers.
He has received numerous awards and honors, 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, and the Gold Cystoscope Award for contributions to his field. He was named by Scientific American as a Medical Treatments Leader of the Year for his contributions to the fields of cell, tissue and organ regeneration, and by Esquire magazine as one of the “Best and Brightest.”
Babcock Auditorium can be reached by parking in the Employee Parking Deck (the gates will be open) on the east side of Hawthorne Road. Babcock Auditorium is entered from Alumni Plaza, a brick courtyard across from the north end of the Parking Deck.
For more information, call Delia Rhodes, at (336) 716-4400.


Media Contacts: Karen Richardson,, Shannon Koontz,, or Bonnie Davis,, at (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,154 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

Media Relations

:, 336-713-4587