Anthony's Open Road

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  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Here, There and Everywhere

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Winston-Salem, NC

  • ON DVD:

ANTHONY ATALA

Director
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

“Nothing I ever planned in my life turned out the way that I thought it would…just went in totally different directions at every single step.”

INTERESTS:

Medicine Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Conflict Community Planning Inspiration

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

TAGS:

change, childhood, education system, experimenting, exposure, family doctor, house calls, human cells, improvement, learning, medical school, organs, physician, research, surgeon, teaching

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Was originally inspired to go into medicine by his childhood physician, one of the few who still made house calls.
  • Debated going into medicine, didn’t know if he wanted to put so much time, schooling into it.
  • Realized that it was his passion, and he was willing to dedicate the time required to become a doctor.
  • Planned on doing primary care in a small community, like his childhood doctor had.
  • As he did surgeries, he was constantly “devastated” by the fact that the tissues he was transplanting into his patients weren’t ideal.
  • Knew that there was a better way to find tissue and organ matches for his patients.
  • Created the world’s first tissue-engineered organ in 1997, started a lab regenerating new tissues and organs from patients’ own cells.
  • Likens life to his research: “Many times you go through 100 experiments before one works.”

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