John Alverdy, MD, named president-elect of Surgical Infection Society

June 3, 2014

John Alverdy, MD John C. Alverdy, MD

John C. Alverdy, MD, the Sara and Harold Lincoln Thompson professor of surgery and executive vice chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine, has been named president-elect of the Surgical Infection Society.

Alverdy was chosen at the 34th annual Society meeting in Baltimore on May 1-3. He will assume the presidency, succeeding current president William G. Cheadle, at the society's 35th annual meeting, to be held in Los Angeles in April 2015.

The Surgical Infection Society (SIS), established in 1982 by scholars who specialized in the study of surgical infections, has more than 550 members, including physicians, scientists, pharmacists, industry members, and nurses. Members of the society advance understanding of the causes and prevention of surgical infections through research, education and public awareness. The society publishes the widely respected journal, Surgical Infections. Past presidents include leaders in American surgery.

Alverdy has been an SIS member since 1991 and has held leadership positions with the society continuously since 2008. He served for four years as a council member and has been the organization's secretary since 2011.

"This is a great honor and a chance to help apply years of research on novel ways to understand and prevent surgical infections," Alverdy said. "Infections after surgery can be devastating and there is no better body of expertise than the membership of the SIS to lead the way toward new prevention strategies. One of our priorities is to prevent infection and sepsis following surgery. Infection rates are not decreasing in surgical patients and more research and education is needed."

Alverdy has contributed extensively to research in the field of surgical infections, including a 2013 study on the effect of dietary monosaccharides on the virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a pathogen associated with many hospital-acquired infections. His laboratory focuses on how such potentially virulent organisms respond to environmental cues from the host -- including signs of stress, ischemia, immune activation and nutrient depletion -- and the development of disease.

"John Alverdy has dedicated most of his scientific career to modeling and understanding surgical infections both at the molecular level and clinically," said Jeffrey Matthews, MD, chair of the department of surgery. "His body of work has produced many seminal discoveries in this regard. This is a well-deserved recognition of his ongoing efforts and his intellectual leadership in the field."

Alverdy is board certified in critical care and general surgery with subspecialty interests in minimally invasive gastrointestinal surgery. With more than 30 years of experience, he is widely known for advances in minimally invasive pancreatic surgery, bariatric surgery and surgery for disorders of the foregut. Additional clinical interests include laparoscopic surgery, gastroesophageal-reflux disease, biliary-tract disease, hernia repair, malignant colorectal disease and benign and malignant stomach tumors.

Alverdy completed his undergraduate degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee. He received his medical degree from Autonomous University of Guadalajara in Mexico and completed his surgical training at the former Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, which at the time was affiliated with the University of Chicago. Alverdy completed fellowship training in trauma and burn research at the University of California San Francisco.

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