University of Wisconsin–Madison

Archive: Week in Review – October 20, 2014

At the Top

The Department of Surgery’s Division of Transplantation celebrated its 1,500th pancreas transplant last month with an event commemorating the milestone and honoring Hans Sollinger, MD, PhD, Folkert O. Belzer Professor of Surgery, for his contributions to the UW transplant program. Sollinger came to the University of Wisconsin in 1975, training under two UW pioneers in organ transplantation – Drs. Fritz Bach and Folkert Belzer. Sollinger joined the UW faculty in 1980, and in 1982 performed this institution’s first pancreas transplant. Soon after, Sollinger developed a technique that drastically increased the success rate for the procedure. Today, the UW has one of the country’s highest volume and most successful pancreas transplant programs.

The 1,500th Pancreas Transplant Celebration speakers included Dixon Kaufman, MD, PhD, and Jon Odorico, MD, of the Division of Transplantation; Ron Sliwinski, president and CEO of UW Hospital and Clinics; and two pancreas transplant recipients.


The American Association of Pediatrics – Pediatric Plastic Surgery Section named Michael Bentz, MD, Clinician of the Year at the annual American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) meeting in Chicago last week. This is a prestigious honor selected for a plastic surgeon who demonstrates consistent and extended excellence in pediatric plastic surgery, advancement of the field and service to children. Congratulations, Dr. Bentz!


Lian-Wang Guo, PhD, was awarded a one-year, $25,000 pilot award from the Morgridge Institute for Research and the James Christenson Estate Macular Degeneration Research Fund to study Metabolism Research in Age-Related Macular Degeneration through his project “Assessment of the Sigma-1 receptor as a therapeutic target for protection against retinal pigment epithelial cell degeneration.”

Lee Wilke, MD, presented “Breast Cancer Margins: Can We ‘See’ Cancer in the Operating Room” at a national breast cancer research symposium on October 3 in Milwaukee, joining experts from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. The event was held in honor of Milwaukee-area news reporter Melodie Wilson Oldenburg, who died of breast cancer in 2009.


Girma Tefera, MD, Heidi Busse, MPH, and other leaders of the Ethiopia Twinning Partnership held a volunteer appreciation event on October 7 in honor of the health care providers who have shared their time and knowledge to expand emergency medicine in Ethiopia. The program included stories from volunteers and an address from Dr. Sigurd Gundersen III, MD, vascular surgeon with Gundersen Health System and a frequent medical mission volunteer. About 75 people attended the event, including physicians from Ethiopia and SMPH Dean Robert Golden.

The Department of Surgery’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division hosted 75 guests at its Yoga for Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day on October 15 at the Brink Lounge. Patients, their families and friends, plastic surgeons and PAs, surgical oncologists, and many other health care specialists joined former breast reconstruction patient and yoga instructor Laura Flanagan for a yoga practice and meditation. Local musician Joe Fred Paprocki provided live music during the yoga practice and the reception that followed. Dr. Sam Poore, Dr. John Siebert, and Aimee Mastrangelo, PA were featured on WKOW’s Wake Up Wisconsin last Saturday to promote the event. Thanks to Aimee Mastrangelo, PA, in Plastic Surgery, who spearheaded the event.