Sponsored by Medtronic

Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery/ AATS Foundation Fellowship

In collaboration with the Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery (JATS), the AATS Foundation has created this fellowship to enhance the exposure for young Japanese cardiothoracic surgeons to advanced medical therapy and integrated systems in North America. The Fellowship provides an interactive educational experience for awardees to spend two to three months at host institutions in North America. Fellows will observe and have discussions with specialists in the treatment of heart valve disease, while concurrently obtain technical skills and cardiothoracic patient management.

Fellows will focus their research and training in any of the following areas:

  • Minimally Invasive operative techniques for aortic, mitral and tricuspid disease.
  • Unique technical approaches for repair of complex degenerative and functional mitral valves.
  • Complex aortic surgery
  • Aortic and Mitral transcatheter valve approaches. Valve imaging techniques for proper assessment and case planning.
  • Robotic mitral valve surgery. Developing a successful program.
  • Endovascular treatment of the aorta.
  • Current trends in coronary revascularization.
  • A multidisciplinary approach for the treatment of valvular heart disease. The role heart teams should play to improve patient outcomes.
  • Advanced treatments for lung disease.

The Fellowship Review Committee will select the most qualified candidates. Applicants must signify the Fellowship period within their application. Fellows will be recognized at the AATS Annual Meeting and AATS Foundation Awards Reception. Recipients will receive a certificate at the AATS Foundation Awards Reception after they have completed their study.  

Host Sites Include:
  • Michael Deeb, MD and Steven Bolling, MD
    University of Michigan 
  • Michael Halkos, MD
    Emory University at Midtown 
  • Lyle D. Joyce, MD
    Mayo Clinic Rochester 
  • Neal Kon, MD
    Wake Forest University School of Medicine 
  • Joseph Sabik, MD 
    University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
  • Alan Speir, MD 
    INOVA Fairfax Hospital

Eligibility Requirements 

To be eligible for an award, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Current Status: A candidate shall have completed his/her formal training in cardiothoracic surgery, must be below 45 years of age, Board certified in Japan, and be on a track toward a leadership surgical position in Japan.
  • Language Requirement: Fluency in English is mandatory.
  • Travel Requirement: Candidate must meet all necessary criteria (license, visa, etc…) for travel to and from host institution, and submit a travel itinerary and lodging arrangements if available.

Application Process

The deadline to submit an application for the Fellowship will be March 15, 2018. In addition to a formal online application, candidates will also be required to upload the following materials:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of support from their department chair or division chief.
  • One to two page narrative to include: (1) what they hope to accomplish during the Fellowship (including timeline and area of interest); (2) how they will utilize the skills they have learned at their home institution; (3) the relationship of the planned study to the applicant’s prior work, preparation and professional goals; and, (4) statement of future career goals.


Review Process/Award Funding

The Fellowship Review Committee, which includes surgeons who are members of the AATS and JATS  with recognized expertise in the treatment of valve disease, will review and notify awardees within 45 days of application deadline. Applications will be graded on all aspects of the award criteria. 

  • The fellowship provides up to three recipients an award of up to $15,000 for 2-3 months of observership study and to defray travel and living expenses.
  • Within 30 days after the conclusion of a Fellow’s experience, a final report is required for submission.


The 2018 deadline has passed.