Newswise — Boston, MA (May 2, 2021) – A new study, presented today at the AATS 101st Annual Meeting, finds that AATS Foundation fellowships support success in academic surgery career tracks.  The AATS Foundation has two primary grant funding mechanisms: the AATS Foundation Scholarship and the Surgical Investigator Award.  The study looked at publications, citations, NIH funding, and leadership position of awardees, among other factors. 

Results show that recipients of both the AATS Surgical Investigator award and the Foundation Scholarship demonstrate sustained scholarship with peer reviewed publications and a high rate of receiving one or more NIH grants. The AATS grants place individuals on a career path for academic surgery with impressive scholastic contributions and ascending to leadership positions.

The AATS Foundation Grant has been awarded to 42 individuals. Awardees have a median of 4,733 citations. During the four-year window following the award, awardees published a median of 23 manuscripts, with a median of 364 citations.  Subsequent NIH grant funding was attained by 44 percent of awardees, who al; secured 2-3 additional NIH grants. The majority of awardees – 89 percent – have been promoted, with most holding either a clinical directorship or a division chief position.  

The Surgical Investigator award has been awarded to 24 surgeons.  In the four-year window since the grant was awarded, recipients generated a media of 37 publications with a media of 632 citations.  26 percent secured NIH funding, of which all attained second and third NIH grants.  Half of the awardees obtained an academic promotion. 

“There’s a narrative within academic medicine that surgery is too time consuming to allow for research, and the data here shows that there are real opportunities for surgical researchers that yield results,” said Edgar Aranga-Michel, MD/PhD candidate at University of Pittsburgh – CMU. “The AATS fellowships are a success factor that support a career in academic surgery.

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Notes for Editors:

“The Impact of Receiving an award from American Association of Thoracic Surgery Foundation,” Edgar Aranda-Michel, James D Luketich, Rashmi Rao, Victor O Morell,  George J Arnaoutakis, Arman Kilic, Courtenay Dunn-Lewis, Ibrahim Sultan, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Presented by NAME, DATE at the AATS 101st Annual Meeting.


The American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) is an international organization that encourages, promotes, and stimulates the scientific investigation of cardiothoracic surgery. Founded in 1917 by a respected group of the earliest pioneers in the field, its original mission was to “foster the evolution of an interest in surgery of the Thorax.” Today, the AATS is the premiere association for cardiothoracic surgeons in the world and works to continually enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality of patient care. Its more than 1,500 members have a proven record of distinction within the specialty and have made significant contributions to the care and treatment of cardiothoracic disease. Visit to learn more.