The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston’s Dr. Courtney M. Townsend Jr., the Robertson-Poth Distinguished Chair in General Surgery, was named the president-elect of the American College of Surgeons at its recent 2015 clinical conference in Chicago.

“Being selected by my colleagues in the American College of Surgeons to serve as president-elect is one of the highest honors I could receive,” said Townsend. “I look forward to leading the organization and representing all its members.” 

“We’re extraordinarily proud of Dr. Townsend and this well-deserved honor,” said Dr. David L. Callender, president of UTMB. “He not only represents the best of UTMB but he also is considered among the best in his profession, general surgery.”

The ACS is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. With more than 80,000 members, it is the largest organizations of surgeons in the world.

Townsend has held many leadership roles in ACS, including secretary, chair of the ACS board of governors and a member of the board’s executive committee.

Townsend has served as editor-in-chief of the “Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice” since 2000 and was also the editor of “Surgical Oncology.” He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the journal Surgery and The American Journal of Surgery.

Townsend earned his medical degree and completed his internship and residency in surgery at UTMB. He completed a surgical oncology fellowship at the University of California-Los Angeles and spent two years at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He joined UTMB as an associate professor, department of surgery in 1978.