(Philadelphia, PA) - Timothy Gardner, MD, Measey Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, was elected President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) on May 8 in San Diego at the association's annual meeting.

"It is an honor to serve such a prestigious organization at such an important time in its history," said Gardner. "Recent advances in the materials and techniques of cardiothoracic surgery, however remarkable, will likely pale in comparison to what is to come and the members of the AATS have always been at the vanguard of progress."

Service in the name of medical advances has been a hallmark of Gardner's career. Gardner served on the Surgery and Bioengineering Study Section of the National Institutes of Health from 1986 to 1990. He was Chair of the Surgery Council of the American Heart Association from 1997-1999. Currently, he is a Director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and has served as Chair of the Professional Affairs Committee of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons from 1996 to 2000.

Gardner was educated at Georgetown University and received his post-graduate surgical training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and University. He was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins from 1976 until 1993, when he accepted his appointment at Penn.

Since joining the faculty of the Penn School of Medicine, Gardner has participated in the major expansion of cardiac surgical activities throughout Penn Health System, including programs at the Presbyterian Medical Center and Pennsylvania Hospital. In addition, the cardiac surgical program at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has grown dramatically, particularly in the areas of thoracic aortic surgery and the surgical treatment of heart failure and heart transplantation. The research activities of the division have also expanded with the recruitment and funding of new faculty members.

Begun in 1917, the AATS is the senior professional association for Cardiothoracic Surgeons. Gardner will serve as the 82nd President of the association until the election of the new president at the next annual meeting in Washington, DC in May 2002.

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