Dr. Michael Ujiki Named the Louis W. Biegler Chair of Surgery


From left: Executive Chairman of the Board Mark R. Neaman, Vice Chair of Surgery Katharine Yao, MD; Vice Chair of Surgery Michael Ujiki, MD; Chairman of the Department of Surgery Mark Talamonti, MD; Vice Chair of Surgery Nancy Schindler, MD; and NorthShore President and CEO J.P. Gallagher

NorthShore has named Michael B. Ujiki, MD, FACS, as the Louis W. Biegler Chair of Surgery, an endowed chair generously gifted by Biegler in 1992. Dr. Ujiki, who assumed the chair effective Jan. 1, 2018, will be only the second chair holder, following highly respected surgeon, researcher and educator Joseph A. Caprini, MD, MS, FACS, RVT, who held the chair from its inception until his retirement at the end of 2016. An endowed chair represents the highest level of prestige at academic medical institutions and honors excellence in care, research and medical education.

Dr. Ujiki joined NorthShore in 2009 and is currently Vice Chair of Surgery for Innovation and Program Development, Chief of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery, Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery, and Director of Surgical Simulation at NorthShore’s Grainger Center for Simulation and Innovation. Specializing in surgical oncology, hernias and diseases of the esophagus, Dr. Ujiki’s expertise includes advanced laparoscopic and specialty bariatric procedures, such as a new, incisionless technique called endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty. He is one of only a few physicians worldwide who can perform a peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM), a technique that helps patients with swallowing disorders. He also was one of the first physicians in the United States to perform an innovative and incisionless procedure called natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES).

Dr. Ujiki earned his MD from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is board-certified in surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and holds an academic appointment at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. An award-winning surgeon-scientist and educator, Dr. Ujiki has contributed to 90 published research papers and co-authored 17 book chapters. He has been invited to present his work nationally and internationally.

“Dr. Ujiki is the consummate academic surgeon,” said Mark Talamonti, MD, the Stanton and Margaret Rogers Palmer Chair of Surgery and Chairman of the Department of Surgery. “A gifted and skilled technical surgeon, he is also an inspiring teacher with students, interns and residents at all levels. His research is always top caliber, and it's improving the quality of life and long-term prognoses of patients with some of the most complicated medical conditions.”

Biegler was a generous supporter of NorthShore and over his lifetime made gifts in support of research, cardiology, cancer care and NorthShore Glenbrook Hospital’s coagulation laboratory—in addition to this endowed chair. An insurance industry entrepreneur and executive, Biegler was also a former chairman of the Illinois Insurance Exchange. He passed away in 1995.

“The Biegler Chair is a strong testament to Dr. Ujiki’s commitment and professionalism in all aspects of his academic career,” said Dr. Talamonti. “NorthShore is proud to bestow this honor and grateful to Louis Biegler for his foresight and generosity.”

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