News Release

Zayed to lead new Division of Surgical Sciences

Vascular surgeon to advance innovative patient care, research

Business Announcement

Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Mohamed A. Zayed


The Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has appointed Mohamed A. Zayed, MD, PhD, as the inaugural director of the new Division of Surgical Sciences. Zayed is a vascular surgeon who has developed medical devices to improve treatment for patients with atherosclerosis and other conditions.

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Mohamed A. Zayed, MD, PhD, a vascular surgeon known for his pioneering research in vascular diseases, has been appointed director of the newly established Division of Surgical Sciences in the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He will assume his new role July 1.

Zayed, a professor of surgery, of radiology, of molecular cell biology, and of biomedical engineering, has more than 25 years of experience leading multifaceted research programs in biotech, medical startups and academia. Among his current roles, he oversees the school’s Vascular Surgery Tissue BioBank.

“Dr. Zayed is an outstanding academic surgeon who brings incredible passion and dedication to our shared goal of building a division that advances research and innovation in cutting-edge diagnostics, therapies, and technologies,” said John A. Olson Jr., MD, PhD, head of the Department of Surgery and the William K. Bixby Professor of Surgery.

Driven by the impactful contributions of surgeon-scientists, the new division will build upon the Department of Surgery’s long-standing legacy of excellence and innovation to advance team science and foster the next generation of innovative surgeons. The division comprises five sections that encompass the breadth of surgical research conducted in the Department of Surgery: Surgical Technology & Bioengineering, Transplant & Immunology Research, Surgical Therapeutics, Regenerative Science, and Multi-omics & Molecular Science.

Zayed’s research explores how lipid synthesis molecules impact the peripheral arterial wall, leading to advanced atherosclerosis, particularly in individuals with diabetes. His team has identified how immune modulation through therapy or diet can reduce inflammation in the aortic wall, thereby preventing aneurysm growth and rupture. His laboratory’s bioengineering focus has led to the development of multiple in vitro diagnostics and medical devices, including  an implantable graft designed to help individuals with diabetes naturally produce insulin. His work has led to more than 45 patent filings, four issued U.S. patents and several biomedical startup companies.

Zayed joined Washington University in 2014 with the goal of building a research program to improve care for patients with end-stage vascular disease. Shortly after arriving, he received the Foundation to Advance Vascular Cures Wylie Scholar Award, a grant given annually to an outstanding young vascular surgeon-scientist dedicated to combining clinical practice with innovative research. He used the award to build his laboratory’s research infrastructure, including the creation of the Vascular Surgery BioBank, which collects vascular tissue and blood specimens for scientific investigations.

His innovative research programs have since received more than $25 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other organizations, including an American Surgical Association research fellowship award and the Society for Vascular Surgery Foundation research investigator award.

Zayed’s research has sparked cross-campus collaborations with faculty in the university’s engineering and business schools and led to several business ventures through the St. Louis-based BioGenerator investment platform. In 2022, Zayed co-founded the CardioVascular Research Innovation in Surgery & Engineering (CVISE) Center. This multidisciplinary research center aims to synergize investigators from various disciplines to tackle persistent gaps in cardiovascular clinical care through innovations in medical diagnostics and therapeutics. The CVISE Center recently received a $6 million grant to provide surgical trainees and doctoral-level engineering students with specialized training in medical innovation, clinical translation and product commercialization.

Zayed has co-founded and led three biomedical companies, including Caeli Vascular Inc., a startup developing a device to treat large volume deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Licensed by the Washington University Office of Technology Management, the device is intended to make DVT treatment safer and more efficient by confining therapies to a single, minimally invasive intervention site. He serves as chief medical officer and primary investigator for the venture.

Zayed also maintains an active clinical practice, and his dedication to educating medical students, surgical residents and fellows has been recognized with multiple teaching awards.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then entered North Carolina’s Medical Scientist Training Program, where he received a doctoral degree in pharmacology in 2007 and his medical degree in 2009. He completed his residency in vascular surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. In 2023, he earned an executive MBA at Washington University’s Olin Business School.

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