• Congratulations to the 2023-2024 SAAS Visiting Professors!
  • Zhi Fong, MD is the recipient of the 2024 SAAS Junior Faculty Award!
  • Radhika Rastogi, MD is the recipient of the 2024 Esther Tsai Sugg Award for the highest scoring SAAS abstract to 2024 Academic Surgical Congress!
  • Christy Chai, MD is the recipient of the 2024 SAAS-SUS Mid-Career Award!
  • Areeba Saif, MD is the recipient of the 2023 SAAS-AWS Resident Research Travel Award!
  • Raja Narayan, MD, MPH is the recipient of the 2023 SAAS Resident/Fellow Development Scholarship!
  • Jeremy Chang, MD is the winner of the 2023 SAAS Annual Meeting Travel Award!
  • Russell Woo, MD is the recipient of the 2023 SAAS-SUS Leadership Agility Program Scholarship!

John Fung, MD, PhD

In this edition of the Lotus Scroll, Lyen C. Huang, MD, MPH, the 2020-2021 Sui-An and Shu-Nung Fung Visiting Professor, interviews John Fung, MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery, Chief of the Section of Transplant Surgery, and Co-Director of the Transplant Institute at the University of Chicago. Fung is the sponsor of the Sui-An and Shu-Nung Fung Visiting Professorship. 



LH: Dr. Fung, you chose to honor your parents with this visiting professorship. Can you tell us about them?

Fung's Mother

JF: My mother, Shu-Nung Wu, was born in Fuchow, Fujian Province to a Navy family. Educated in Hunan, she moved to Taiwan shortly after the war ended. My father, Sui-An Fung, was born in Zhuji (outside of Hangzhou), Zhejiang Province in a farming community. Educated in Nanjing, he also moved to Taiwan after the war. There they met, married, and had my two older sisters, Jean and Joan.

My father then came to the US for graduate studies. He received his Masters degree from the University of Rochester, then moved to Bethlehem, PA, when my mother joined him. She received her Masters in Accounting from Lehigh College. I was born there before we left for Evansville, IN, where my father taught at Evansville College. My two younger brothers, James and Peter were born. My father held another teaching post at Texas Tech University before going back to Cornell University to get his PhD in Mechanical Engineering. It was at that time that the space program was taking off, and we moved to Downey, CA, where he worked on the Saturn V rocket, then the Space Shuttle, the B1 bomber and the Space Station at Rockwell International. My father passed away at age of 76 from heart failure, my mother is still alive at 96.

LH: What role did your parents have in your career and becoming an academic surgeon?

JF: Like many Asian parents, my parents had a strong influence in our careers, advancing academics as a way to move ahead in America. All of their children went on to college, then graduate school.

LH: You sent me this photo of you and your father. Can you tell me about the trip?

JF: A trip to China with both of my parents in 1986 opened my eyes to the benefits of global collaboration. In the picture with my father outside of the Zhejiang Zhuji People’s Hospital, my father asked that I promise to provide training opportunities for foreign physicians if I ever had the opportunity. After being named the Division Chief for Transplant Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, we energized our global training program for transplant surgeons and physicians, with over 1,200 visitors between 1991 and 2004, before I left Pittsburgh.

Fung with Father

LH: Why did you choose to honor your parents with this Visiting Professorship?

JF: Like many Asian professionals, we owe a great debt to our parents. Thank you for the opportunity to allow me to honor them.

2020-2021 Sui-An and Shu-Nung Fung Visiting Professor: Lyen C. Huang, MD, MPH

Lyen C. Huang, MD, MPH, FACS, FASCRS

Lyen C. Huang, MD, MPH, FACS, FASCRS, is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Family & Preventative Medicine and Population Health Sciences at the University of Utah. Dr. Huang received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Stanford University and his Master of Public Health degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He completed his General Surgery residency at Stanford University followed by a fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota). He also completed post-doctoral research fellowships at Stanford University with Dr. Kim Rhoads and the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health with Drs. Atul Gawande and Sara Singer.

His clinical practice focuses on complex and minimally invasive colorectal surgery. His current research focuses on (1) peri-operative opioid stewardship, appropriate disposal of unused opioids, and patient recovery after surgery, (2) dissemination and implementation of health system interventions, particularly in health systems serving rural and under-served communities, (3) improving access and quality of rural/frontier cancer care, and (4) misalignment between the law, state and federal policy, drug courts, and health systems. He was funded by NCATS as a University of Utah CTSI KL2 Mentored Career Development Scholar from 2020-22 and by the NIH HEAL Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network (ERN) as a clinical advisor to the Utah Trial Innovation Center.


SAAS Foundation 2024-2025 Visiting Professorships

Congratulations to the 2024-2025 SAAS Visiting Professors, as well as our other recent award and accolade recipients: Drs. Oliver Eng, Annabelle Fonseca, Kevin Koo, Tammy Holm, Victoria Lai, Melanie Ongchin, James Wu, Jessica Zagory, Zhi Ven Fong, Christy Yoon-Hee Chai, Lillian Kao, Sandra Wong, Danny Chu, and Brenessa Lindeman.

An Ultimate Challenge to the Palate

SAAS members attend a Japanese whiskey tasting fundraiser, hosted by Dr. Herbert Chen at the 2023 SAAS Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

A Sansei’s Story

General Surgery Resident Natalie Nadia Hisae Merchant, MD, discusses lessons learned from her family and their history and how they have influenced her experiences, identity and perspective.

SAAS Sips Recap: Acing the Residency Interview

The SAAS Sips for Medical Students Series is a casual, low-stress setting for trainees to interact with SAAS leaders. The Nov. 2, 2023, event focused on “Acing the Residency Interview.”

Kuo Family Lectureship: Jason Kalirai, PhD

This year’s Kuo Family Lecture was given by Jason Kalirai, PhD, at the 2023 SAAS Annual Meeting. Dr Kalirai is the Mission Area Executive for Civil Space in the Space Exploration Sector of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

SAAS 2023 Presidential Address: Susan Tsai, MD, MHS

Susan Tsai, MD, MHS, delivered her Presidential Address to the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons at the 2023 SAAS Annual Meeting, titled “Navigating the Bamboo Ceiling: Empowering AAPI Surgeons for Success.”

SAAS Leadership Highlights

Congratulations to our members for their recent accomplishments, including Dr. Mayur B. Patel who has been named Chief of the Division of Acute Care Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

A Moment with SAAS: Herbert Chen

This season’s “A Moment with SAAS” features one of our founding members, Dr. Herbert Chen, chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

SAAS Leadership Highlights

SAAS congratulates Drs. Kenric Murayama, Thomas Varghese, Ankush Gosain, Shaun Kunisaki, and Vikas Dudeja for their recent accomplishments.

Medical Student Student Reflections

Medical students Gopika SenthilKumar and Nate Verhagen attended their first SAAS meeting in September and said the meeting offered a place for trainees to build new, lasting relationships.

Kuo Family Lectureship: Debbie Lum

“Why do we always have to play the side part? Why aren’t we the protagonist of the story?” asks award-winning filmmaker Debbie Lum at this year’s 2022 Kuo Family Lectureship.

Kui and Wai Fong Lectureship: David Hu

The 2022 Kui and Wai Fong Lectureship was delivered by Professor David Hu from Georgia Institute of Technology. David Hu is a professor of mechanical engineering who draws inspiration from his observation of nature.

Sustainability in Surgery

Connie Shao, MD, discusses the importance of sustainability in surgery in this issue of the Lotus Scroll.

SAAS Leadership Highlights

The Society of Asian Academic Surgeons would like to congratulate our members on their many recent accomplishments.

President’s Message: December 2021

SAAS President Dr. Allan Tsung discusses this year’s SAAS annual meeting, the pandemic and the future of the society in his December 2021 President’s Message.

The Sequelae of Hate

Dr. Lindsey Zhang discusses the recent rise in hate crimes, racial discrimination and violence toward the Asian American community.

Q&A: Dr. George Yang

The Lotus Scroll interviews George Yang, MD, PhD, former president of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons.

SAAS Foundation 2018-2019 Visiting Professorships

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 SAAS Foundation Visiting Professors! SAAS Foundation Visiting Professorships support travel to host institutions for junior faculty to give grand rounds and increase the national visibility of rising stars in academic surgery.

SAAS on Twitter!

This year, SAAS was active more than ever on Twitter! In addition to updates and announcements, more content was created for our followers to improve engagement, highlight issues and events important to our society and members, and promote the activities at SAAS.

SAAS Executive Council: Message on the Rise of Racism

First, as the current pandemic continues to affect our communities and families, we want to express our profound gratitude to our surgical colleagues and to all healthcare professionals who are the frontlines of caring for patients with the SARS-CoV2 virus/COVID-19.

Q&A: Dr. Kenric Murayama

The Lotus Scroll is honored to interview Kenric Murayama, MD, this year’s host of the SAAS Annual Meeting.

President’s Message: December 2019

SAAS President Dr. Tracy Wang discusses how far the Society has come and what’s in store for 2020 in her December 2019 President’s Message.

SAAS 2019 Meeting Recap

SAAS held its 2019 Annual Meeting at the Boston Medical Center, Sept. 26-27, with more than 148 scientific presentations and breakout sessions.

SAAS 2019 Meeting Highlights

The fourth annual meeting of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, Sept. 26-27, 2019, and promises to be an incredibly fun, impactful and meaningful gathering of academic surgeons, trainees and students from both the U.S. and abroad.

Q&A: Dr. Jennifer Tseng

Jennifer Tseng, MD, MPH, is the James Utley Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine and surgeon-in-chief at Boston Medical Center.

Welcome to the Lotus Scroll

Welcome to the launch of Lotus Scroll, the official newsletter of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons (SAAS). Through the Lotus Scroll, we are excited to distribute and enhance the vision of SAAS: to promote diversity and inclusion in academic surgery through the sponsorship and development of its leaders.