Donald C. Dafoe, MD, Named New Surgery Chair
Transplant surgeon Donald C. Dafoe, MD, FACS, has been named the Samuel D. Gross Professor and Chairman of Surgery, Jefferson Medical College.
Dr. Dafoe, who was chief of the transplantation program at Stanford University Medical Center in California, will also serve as Chairman of Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
While he was chief of transplantation at Stanford, Dr. Dafoe built the program in abdominal organ transplantation from zero activity to more than 225 transplants a year.
Paul C. Brucker, MD, President, Thomas Jefferson University, said Dr. Dafoe's appointment will complement the Department of Surgery, especially in the area of transplantation.
"Dr. Dafoe's experience and training will further enhance the Department of Surgery's longstanding reputation for excellence in education and research," Dr. Brucker said.
Dr. Dafoe will succeed Francis E. Rosato, MD, who has served as department chairman for more than 20 years. Dr. Rosato will continue to practice and see patients at Jefferson University Hospital.
Dr. Brucker praised Dr. Rosato's work as Chairman and surgeon. "Dr. Rosato exemplifies the best Jefferson has to offer in surgical care and education," the President said. "His leadership has led the way for his department to make great strides."
Thomas J. Lewis, Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer, lauded Dr. Rosato for "the high national standards he set during two decades of outstanding leadership and growth for our surgery department."
In setting standards for surgical care in this country, Jefferson's surgeons have achieved excellence in many fields and have expanded the boundaries of surgery in a number of organ systems, especially with regard to the liver, pancreas and digestive tract.
Recently, the department was credited with helping the Wilmington VA Hospital in Delaware to be recognized as one of the few veterans hospitals nationwide to have a lower-than-expected risk-adjusted mortality rate. The department's surgeons and residents provide clinical and surgical services for the veterans hospital.
Dr. Dafoe said he looked forward to continuing the hospital's clinical powerhouse in surgery that serves the people of Philadelphia and the region so well. He said he intended to emphasize innovation: research leading to clinical advances, and emerging technology.
"We will work collaboratively with our medical center colleagues to enhance patient care through a synergistic comprehensive approach," he said. "The education of medical students and future leaders in surgery will remain a top priority."
About Donald C. Dafoe, MD
New Surgery Chairman Donald C. Dafoe, MD, is no stranger to Philadelphia, having served as Chief of the Division of Transplantation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1991 before moving west to lead Stanford's transplant program.
He also served as Associate Professor of Surgery and the Clinical Director of the pancreas transplantation program at the University of Michigan from 1982 to 1987.
Dr. Dafoe is recognized for his work not only in transplantation, but in diabetes research. He has conducted research on the reversal of type I diabetes involving transplantation of insulin-producing islet cells.
"Currently, it is difficult to collect sufficient numbers of these cells from donor pancreases," he said. "Through the use of growth factors we can encourage islets to grow and multiply from progenitor cells in the pancreas. The resulting islets can then be transplanted in abundant numbers."
Dr. Dafoe is a recipient of the American Diabetes Association's Rosalyn S. Yalow Research and Development Award.
Dr. Dafoe is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and is a member of many national and international professional organizations, including the American Surgical Association, the Society of University Surgeons and the Transplantation Society. He also served on the Board of Directors of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
The new Chairman is author of numerous papers, book chapters, abstracts and reviews. He is an editorial board member for the Journal of Surgical Research and Graft.
A native of Wisconsin, Dr. Dafoe received doctor of medicine and bachelor of science degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He completed his general surgery training and served as chief resident at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. While there, he was the Measey Research Fellow from 1978 to 1980, and the Culpeper Foundation Clinical Fellow from 1981 to 1982.