Renowned Children's Hosptial Surgeon Lauded by Pediatricians, Surgeons

October 20, 2006
News Office: Phyllis Brown (415) 502-6397

Renowned fetal surgeon Dr. Michael R. Harrison was honored by two of the nation’s most prestigious medical professional organizations last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Surgeons, for his contributions to both fields.

Harrison is universally regarded as the founder of the field of fetal surgery and director of the Fetal Treatment Center at UCSF Children’s Hospital, the first fetal treatment center in the United States.

Harrison was presented with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Arnold M. Salzberg Mentorship Award, which recognizes the contributions of a pediatric surgeon who has distinguished himself as a mentor of other pediatric surgeons.

He also was honored by the American College of Surgeons with a major address, the I. S. Ravdin Lecture in the Basic Sciences, in which he discussed the past, present and future of fetal surgery. That future could include stem cell therapies for diseases of adulthood, like sickle cell anemia, which would be conducted while the patient was still in utero.

The pediatrics award was presented at the annual conference in Atlanta; the surgery recognition occurred at the surgeons’ annual clinical congress in Chicago.

Harrison said he was exceptionally honored to have received the Salzburg Award because it recognized his work in mentoring what has become the majority of the world’s fetal surgeons.

“They account for almost all of the surgeons at fetal treatment programs in the world today,” he said. “It was an opportunity for me to recognize people with whom I have worked and their accomplishments. I am very proud of all they have achieved.”