nnar B.J. Andersson, M.D., Ph.D and world-renowned spine surgeon has become a director of TheraCell, Inc. and a member of the firm’s surgeon advisory committee. The appointment takes place immediately. Andersson’s appointment expands the board to five directors, two of whom are spine surgeons.
“Dr. Andersson’s 45 years of broad experience across both clinical and commercial aspects of the industry will add a valuable perspective to our Board of Directors,” said Bradley E. Patt, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO. “We appreciate his willingness to serve as a director and look forward to benefiting from his judgment and input.”
Dr. Andersson is The Ronald L. DeWald, M.D. Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center and a spine, back & neck surgeon at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush in Chicago. He was Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery from 1994 to 2008. Dr. Andersson has been at the forefront of spine surgery research and education for more than 30 years. He is a member of 17 editorial boards, editor-in-chief of Spinal News International, a deputy editor for Spine, founding editor of Contemporary Spine Surgery and an associate editor of Clinical Biomechanics. He is the author of approximately 330 original publications, over 160 books and book chapters and more than 530 abstracts.
Speaking of TheraCell, Inc., Andersson said, “TheraCell has become an exciting and promising company and I am delighted to participate. They have developed an exciting new platform of demineralized bone fiber products and are partnering with a well-established tissue bank to take these initial products to market. These initiatives will help accelerate revenues and give the company credibility. I like the idea of oxygenating the demineralized bone fiber matrix to help cells survive in a deep graft. I believe that the extended team is excellent and I look forward to working with them to help the company succeed.”
He first came to the U.S. on a research fellowship in 1976 and rose to be the president of the Orthopaedic Research Society in 2000. Gunnar Andersson, M.D., Chairman Emeritus of Orthopedic Surgery at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, has just retired at the age of 72. We stole a few minutes of his time, however, and asked him to reflect on his years of service to the orthopedic community. As for the most important thing that he has created at Rush, Dr. Andersson told OTW, “It’s the fact that I was able to maintain the private practice model in an academic setting while being successful in education and research. I am strongly supportive of the private practice model in patient care. To be successful in competing with other private groups and academic centers educational and research excellence is critical. While being hugely successful clinically we have been able to attract the best residents and fellows in the country and being one of the best funded and most successful research groups in orthopedics. It’s not my doing, but I am very proud of the accomplishments of my department members.”
“I’m also pleased to have built a premier practice group by careful recruitment and support for all missions in an academic practice. Recruitment is critical and strongly dependent on buy in from the practice partners and their help in finding the right people. Additionally, I have created a destination for orthopaedic patients and a home for the surgeons by building a private office building on Rush campus with availability of ancillary services. This could not have happened without the support of Rush University Medical Center, whose administrators eventually realized that this was beneficial to both parties—the group and the medical center. They leased us land and allowed us to build.”
Asked about one of his fondest memories of his time at Rush, Dr. Andersson noted, “I have a 30/30 memory, meaning I remember everything from 30 years ago and everything from the last 30 seconds. Since I have been at Rush for 30 years I cannot remember the fondest memory. I only remember good things!! The success of surgical interventions is highest on my list, followed by the recruitment of wonderful partners, graduation of well trained residents and fellows, and the success of research and new discoveries. Having a period as president of the medical staff, senior vice president of medical affairs and vice dean all created memorable experiences.”