UAB hosts national meeting of Society of Asian Academic Surgeons

Nearly 200 surgeons are expected in Birmingham as UAB hosts the second annual national meeting of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons.

herbert chen 2017Herbert Chen, M.D., chair of the UAB Department of Surgery, is a founding member of the Society of Asian Academic SurgeonsThe University of Alabama at Birmingham will host the second annual Society of Asian Academic Surgeons national meeting Sept. 21-22. Almost 200 surgeons are expected at the event from around the country, including 15 chairs of departments of surgery.

Highlights of the meeting include:

  • Keynote speaker is Selwyn Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the UAB School of Medicine. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, a world-renowned surgeon, pancreatic cancer researcher and pioneer in health disparities research.
  • UAB faculty member James McClintock, Ph.D., the Endowed University Professor of Polar and Marine Biology, will present a lecture titled Drug Discovery in Antarctic Seas. His research focuses on aspects of marine invertebrate nutrition, reproduction and Antarctic marine chemical ecology. He has made 15 research expeditions to Antarctica.
  • Guest speakers include Larry Chang, MBA, and Denise Peck, MBA, from Ascend, the largest nonprofit pan-Asian organization for business professionals in North America.
  • A scientific session and presentations and panel discussions on leadership and career development topics are also on the agenda.

“It is an honor for UAB to host the second annual meeting of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons,” said Jayleen Grams, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of surgery at UAB and local arrangements chair for the meeting. “UAB values diversity and strives to create an environment that helps promising academic surgeons become leaders in their field. Therefore, our departmental values are aligned with the mission of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons, and hosting the second annual meeting is a wonderful way to support those joint goals.”

“SAAS works to promote career development and improved visibility for Asian surgeons to increase representation in the leadership of academic surgery.”

Herbert Chen, M.D., the chair of the UAB Department of Surgery, is a founding member of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons and host of the meeting. SAAS is committed to the personal and professional development of Asian academic surgeons in the belief that the best way to increase Asian representation in the leadership of academic surgery is to prepare future generations to succeed.

“Asians represent approximately 20 percent of all academic surgeons, but less than 5 percent of department chairs around the country,” Chen said. “SAAS works to promote career development and improved visibility for Asian surgeons to increase representation in the leadership of academic surgery.”

The society provides scholarships for both trainees and junior faculty to help with career development and presents awards for the best research submitted by members to the Academic Surgical Congress to showcase the advances being made by Asians in the field.

The society is fully inclusive, defining “Asian” in the broadest sense to include those from East, Southeast and South Asia, as well as Persians, Arabs, Turks and any other nationality from the Asian continent. Furthermore, membership in SAAS is open to anyone of any ethnicity who has an interest in promoting underrepresented populations in any arena of academic surgery.

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