Dr. Chaikof Accepts Post as New Chair of Surgery at BIDMC

July 2010

Effective July 31, 2010, Dr. Elliot Chaikof will be leaving Emory and his primary appointment as Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery, a position he has held since 2001, to become the Johnson and Johnson Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Tom Dodson, a faculty member since 1988 and program director of the general surgery residency program, will now have the opportunity to wear yet another hat as the interim-chief.

After completing his vascular surgery residency at Emory in 1992, Dr. Chaikof joined the faculty and became an important figure in vascular surgery's shift from traditional, open procedures to minimally invasive endovascular therapy techniques, pharmaceuticals, and gene therapy. He established Emory's first program directed at the endovascular repair of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms, initiating a wide range of clinical trials that were essential to the development of endovascular grafting procedures for these conditions. By the time he became chief, his Laboratory of Bio/Molecular Engineering and Advanced Vascular Technologies was a high-profile research center at the interface of medicine and engineering, with projects in reparative medicine, organ fabrication, and the design of engineered living systems. In fiscal year 2004-2005, the NIH reported that Dr. Chaikof was awarded five RO1 grants, and by 2009 he had been the Emory PI for over 30 clinical trial protocols investigating endovascular therapies for treatment of aortic aneurysms, carotid disease, and peripheral arterial disease; novel biologics; gene therapy; and tissue engineered products.

Under Dr. Chaikof's direction, the division's clinical activities increased to the degree that clinical faculty saw more than 8,000 patients in a typical year, diagnosed more than 5,000 patients in the division's non-invasive vascular lab, and performed more than 2000 major vascular and endovascular surgeries. The division's residency program expanded as well, with the number of primary major operations performed by graduating residents over the last five years being significantly higher than that of vascular surgery residents at other programs in the U.S. Over the past 15 years, 40% of the program's graduates have pursued academic careers and many are now division heads and program directors.

In reflecting upon Dr. Chaikof's many contributions to Emory during his time here, Dr. Dodson said, "It is impossible to overstate his contributions to our department, to our research program, and to vascular surgery in general. Not only are we losing a world class surgical scientist and clinician, but I am losing a dear friend and colleague. While we are enormously proud of him and wish him well, he will be greatly missed."