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April 7, 2015 at 8:06 AM EDT

AATS Graham Foundation and AtriCure Announce James L. Cox Fellowship in Atrial Fibrillation Surgery

Fellowship provides newly graduated cardiothoracic surgeons with a unique opportunity to be trained by nationally recognized experts in atrial fibrillation surgery

WEST CHESTER, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 7, 2015-- AtriCure, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATRC), a leading innovator in technologies for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation (Afib) and left atrial appendage management, together with the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Graham Foundation has announced the inaugural James L. Cox Fellowship in Atrial Fibrillation Surgery.

The multi-year commitment will provide newly graduated cardiothoracic surgeons with a highly engaging educational experience at leading surgical Afib centers across the United States. Eight nationally recognized experts in Afib surgery will act as “host surgeons”, providing one-on-one mentoring and formalized training to award winners over the course of three months. The fellowship will also include a didactic training course led by Dr. James Cox, whose pioneering work established the field of Afib ablation, and his protégé, Dr. Ralph Damiano, who chairs the Afib fellowship program on behalf of the AATS Graham Foundation and AtriCure.

“I am very pleased that AATS Graham Foundation has recognized the need for this kind of program,” said Dr. Damiano, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. “I believe that this will provide an excellent opportunity for interested fellows to increase their understanding of how to treat the growing epidemic of atrial fibrillation and to better understand the surgical treatment of this common arrhythmia.”

In future years, the company hopes to expand the number of host surgeons and training sites and to offer this fellowship to surgeons outside the U.S. The goal of this educational program is to identify and cultivate the next generation of leaders and researchers in the field of Afib surgery, providing them with the tools, experience, and guidance to provide safe and effective treatment. The announcement coincides with the AATS Annual Meeting April 25-29 and the naming of Dr. Cox as recipient of the 2015 AATS Scientific Achievement Award, the society’s highest scientific award recognizing extraordinary contributions to the field of cardiothoracic surgery.

“We are incredibly proud to be a supporter of the James L. Cox Fellowship,” said Mike Carrel, president and chief executive officer of AtriCure. “Dr. Cox is widely recognized as the leader in our field, and we are pleased that this program has come to fruition as recognition of his contributions, as well as AATS’ commitment to education and furthering the practice of surgically treating Afib.”

The fellowship is named after Dr. James L. Cox, a leading pioneer in the development of solutions to treat Afib. Dr. Cox has been working on educating surgeons globally for decades to reduce the global epidemic of Afib. He received his MD from the University of Tennessee, and after serving with the US Army medical corps, he completed his residency at Duke University, where he joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Surgery in 1998. He then moved to the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he became Professor and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, specializing in surgical procedures for cardiac arrhythmias. In 1987, he performed his first “maze” procedure, which was recognized as the first cure for severe forms of Afib. From 1990 to 1997, he was the Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery at Washington University and in 1997 moved to Georgetown University to become Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, a position from which he retired in 2000. He is currently the Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery Emeritus at Washington University School of Medicine.

“I am honored to be a part of this inaugural program,” said Dr. Cox. “I am confident that this will provide interested surgeons with the ability to train under some of the best arrhythmia surgeons in the world. It is a very exciting time to be involved in the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation.”

More information about the fellowship program can be found at

About AtriCure

AtriCure, Inc. is a medical device company providing innovative atrial fibrillation (Afib) solutions designed to produce superior outcomes that reduce the economic and social burden of atrial fibrillation. AtriCure’s Synergy™ Ablation System is the first and only surgical device approved for the treatment of persistent and longstanding persistent forms of Afib in patients undergoing certain open concomitant procedures. AtriCure’s AtriClip left atrial appendage management (LAAM) exclusion device is the most widely sold device worldwide that’s indicated for the occlusion of the left atrial appendage. The company believes cardiothoracic surgeons are adopting its ablation and LAAM devices for the treatment of Afib and reduction of Afib related complications such as stroke. Afib affects more than 33 million people worldwide.3 For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @AtriCure.

About the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS)

AATS is the premiere association for the world’s cardiothoracic surgeons. Its members number more than 1,300 thoracic and cardiothoracic surgeons from 41 countries around the globe. Founded in 1917 by pioneers in the field of thoracic surgery, AATS members have a proven record of distinction in the field and have made significant contributions to the care and treatment of cardiothoracic diseases worldwide. Learn more at Follow AATS on Twitter: @AATSHQ.

About the AATS Graham Foundation

The AATS Graham Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. It supports surgeons, fellows, residents and medical students worldwide through educational conferences and programs, training fellowships and research scholarships — enhancing their surgical knowledge and technical skills by keeping them abreast of cardiothoracic surgery advances and innovations. Learn more at

Source: AtriCure, Inc.

AtriCure, Inc.
Media Relations
Valerie Storch-Willhaus, 612-605-3311
Director, Corporate Marketing and Communications
Investor Relations
Andy Wade, 513-755-4564
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer