The prestigious Surgical Forum, where hundreds of scientific presentations were made at the annual meeting of the 65,000-member American College of Surgeons, was dedicated to Dr. Eric W. Fonkalsrud, professor emeritus of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, in San Francisco on October 25.
This dedication honored Fonkalsrud's consummate contributions as a surgeon, investigator, mentor, and leader over the past 50 years.
Fonkalsrud was appointed as the founding chief of pediatric surgery at UCLA Medical Center in 1965, where he has remained during the subsequent 46 years. His contributions in many key areas include pioneering restorative proctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis and in the 1960's, he was one of the first to perform liver transplantation in the United States. He is also a world authority on surgical management of chest wall malformations, gastroesophageal reflux in children, and neonatal surgery.
Fonkalsrud has been a national leader in academic surgery, serving as president of nine national and international surgical societies. He has received several national and international awards for lifetime contributions to the field of pediatric surgery and is an honorary Fellow of the German, Japanese, and Polish Surgical Societies. He has authored 462 publications in scientific journals, six books, 124 chapters, and has served on the editorial boards of 15 major surgical journals.