Meet the 16th ISEM Congress’s next lecturer – Dr. Yelena Akelina, DVM, MS who is a Research Scientist and a Director/Instructor in Clinical Microsurgery at the Microsurgery Research and Training lab at Columbia University’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Akelina’s training began as a veterinarian, completing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Moscow Veterinary Academy before obtaining her Master of Science in Toxicology. She started her career in microsurgery in 1996 as a student intern on the way to earning her veterinary license in New York. Through experience, self-teaching, and hard work, she became one of the most prominent microsurgery instructors in the world.

Dr. Akelina is one of the founders of IMSS and is an active member of many other domestic and international societies for microsurgery including WSRM, ASRM, RAMSES, and ISEM. Dr. Akelina is also an Honorable Member of the Serbian Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery and an Honorable Faculty Member at Queen Mary’s Hospital in London.

Additionally, Dr. Akelina is a Principal Investigator for many microsurgical research projects and is well-published in many peer-reviewed journals, with more than 35 publications.

Yelena has been a mentor for many years for many students who are now leading clinical attendings, successful researchers, and on their way to their clinical careers nowadays.

The program she runs at Columbia University trains microsurgery to more than 200 surgeons and researchers a year from institutions across the US and more than 70 countries. Over the last 26 years, Dr. Akelina has trained more than 4000 surgeons. The primary goal of the training program is to teach surgeons to perform surgery on very small (1mm diameter) vessels and nerves using microscopes, gaining the experience to apply the training to surgery on humans and save lives.