Dr. Anthony Atala

Once in a while I have the opportunity to shoot someone who is extremely interesting. A few months back I shot portraits of Dr. Anthony Atala, Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Chair of the Department of Urology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Atala’s work involves growing human tissues and organs to replace those damaged by disease or defects. IE, he is taking a patient’s own stem cells (non-embryonic) and grows tissue for transplant back into that patient that won’t be rejected because it is their own genetic material. So far he has successfully transplanted bladders, but he is working on kidneys, livers, bone and skin. Pretty awesome. In fact his lab is using an inkjet printer to lay down layers of tissue to form skin and organs. His lab is an amazing place to visit and Dr. Atala is an amazing subject.

(images copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

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