Prof. Franco Mosca became professor and chairman of surgery at the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1986, and single-handedly transformed the department of surgery into a highly advanced and sophisticated academic quaternary unit of excellence in oncologic, vascular, and transplantation surgery.
Early in his career, Professor Mosca dedicated himself to improving the hospital facilities, creating a state-of-the-art surgical unit with advanced operating rooms and intensive care unit facilities. Simultaneously, he started a parenteral alimentation service and advanced surgical endoscopic and ultrasound diagnostic and therapeutic services, based on his belief that surgeons cannot delegate these important diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to others if we want to obtain the best outcomes. This formed the basis for a successful constellation of new surgical programs—a program for surgical treatment of portal hypertension, a vascular surgery program, and a liver transplant program, which became the busiest transplant surgery program in Italy. He also expanded gastrointestinal oncologic surgery to include advanced pancreatic and hepatobiliary surgery and embraced laparoscopic surgery.
Professor Mosca paid equal attention to the development of a strong academic unit with clinical outcomes research and device innovation. The development of the clinical outcomes research came first, as a byproduct of the expansion of the clinical services. Then, based on his interest in novel techniques, Professor Mosca formed collaborative ties with the department of biomedical engineering of the University of Pisa. This led to the development of new tools for laparoscopy (miniaturized instruments) and endoscopy (a prototype mobile retrograde capsule colonoscopy). More recently, this collaboration has matured into a Center for Advanced Surgery dedicated to skills training and research in computer-guided surgery. This center is now accredited by the American College of Surgeons as a Comprehensive Education Institute.
Professor Mosca is an outstanding and visionary surgical leader and one of the most respected and influential European surgeons.