Michael J. Yaszemski, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon and researcher, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Selection is one of the highest honors in medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.
Dr. Yaszemski is one of two Mayo Clinic physicians to be elected this year. Andrea Cheville, M.D., physical medicine and rehabilitation researcher and director of the Cancer Rehabilitation Program at Mayo Clinic also was selected.
“To have colleagues from distinct practice areas recognized in the same year is an incredible honor for them individually and for Mayo Clinic as a whole,” says John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO, Mayo Clinic. “Such recognition underscores the commitment of our physician-scientists in advancing research to address unmet patient needs, educating the next generation of physicians and scientists, and providing unparalleled care for patients and their families.”
Dr. Yaszemski has a spine surgery practice at Mayo Clinic and routinely cares for patients who have skeletal defects that require reconstruction. His clinical practice includes spinal surgery and oncologic surgery of the spine, sacrum and pelvis.
“Dr. Yaszemski is known as a strong clinical collaborator and he has built a differentiated surgical practice at Mayo Clinic. His team approach to complex spine surgery often includes colleagues in neurosurgery and is exemplary in the singular focus on the needs of the patient,” says Mark W. Pagnano, M.D., chair, Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Mayo Clinic. “Dr. Yaszemski’s surgical contributions and research advances continue to make a difference, not just for patients at Mayo Clinic but for patients nationwide and patients worldwide. His surgical skills are well-recognized amongst the nation’s spine surgeons.”
Dr. Yaszemski is the director of the Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory. His research is in the development of biodegradable scaffold polymers to support bone regeneration and spinal cord regeneration using tissue engineering strategies. He is a deputy director within Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine. His research focus areas include:
Bone tissue engineering
Spinal cord regeneration
Nerve tissue engineering
Sarcoma cell and molecular biology
Dr. Yaszemski's long-term research goal is to change the way that many common debilitating, life-threatening musculoskeletal conditions are treated. The use of biodegradable polymers in bone tissue engineering will be significant to patients with spine instability or spinal cord injuries.