Rochester, Minnesota - Kai-Nan An, Ph.D., Albert Czaja, M.D., James Eisenach, M.D., and David Feliciano, M.D., have been named recipients of the 2016 Mayo Clinic Distinguished Alumni Award. The award honors individuals who exemplify Mayo Clinic’s ideals and mission. The honorees were recognized on November 15 at the Mayo Foundation House in Rochester.
Kai-Nan An, Ph.D.
Dr. An is an emeritus professor of orthopedics and biomedical engineering, and emeritus consultant in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Mayo Clinic. He began his career at Mayo Clinic in 1975, and he retired in 2014.
Dr. An is recognized internationally for his work in the biomechanics of upper extremities, orthopedic surgery, and sports and rehabilitation medicine. Under his leadership, the Biomechanics Laboratory at Mayo Clinic became one of the leading orthopedic research centers in the world. When Dr. An began his research career at Mayo Clinic, biomechanics was in its infancy. He performed the pioneering work that defined the normal function of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder joints, and his work has contributed to the fundamental knowledge that guided joint arthroplasty and tendon repair.
Albert Czaja, M.D.
Dr. Czaja is an emeritus professor of medicine and emeritus consultant in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic, where he also completed his fellowship and residency training. He retired from practice in 2007. Dr. Czaja is a leading authority on autoimmune liver disease and has made seminal contributions to the understanding of autoimmune hepatitis. He has written almost every clinical guideline on the treatment of autoimmune hepatitis and established that autoimmune hepatitis is a consequence of autoantigen exposure, genetic predisposition and defective immunoregulatory mechanisms. He wrote extensively of the natural history, diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment options. With his colleagues at Mayo Clinic, he defined what remains the current standard of treatment for the disorder.
James Eisenach, M.D.
Dr. Eisenach completed a residency in anesthesia at Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education in 1985. Today he is the FM James III Professor of Anesthesiology and vice chair for research in the Department of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He also is president and CEO of the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, the leading funder of new investigators in the specialty.
Dr. Eisenach has advanced the understanding of spinal analgesics and made an impact on clinical practice, particularly in OB-GYN. He is recognized as a world leader for his groundbreaking investigations into the mechanisms of neuraxial anesthesia and analgesia, and has contributed greatly to the understanding of how neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine contribute to neuraxial analgesia. Dr. Eisenach is largely responsible for the introduction and development of intrathecal clonidine as an analgesic, and he contributed significantly to the understanding of chronic pain mechanisms, especially neuropathic pain.
David Feliciano, M.D.
Dr. Feliciano completed a residency in general surgery at Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education in Rochester in 1978. Today, he is the J. Stanley Battersby Professor of Surgery and chief emeritus in the Division of General Surgery at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Dr. Feliciano is widely regarded as a leading authority in trauma care whose contributions have greatly impacted American surgery. He has built trauma units in hospitals at Baylor University; the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York; Emory University; and Indiana University. He is a leading expert on trauma of the duodenum and has several maneuvers named for him. He spent most of his career at Grady Memorial Hospital, an inner-city hospital in Atlanta. There, he developed one of the top trauma programs in the country and trained many young surgeons.