Victor Gomel M.D.
Dr. Gomel holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine of the University of British Columbia. He served as Chairperson of his Department for fifteen years, during which the Department was greatly expanded and attained international recognition.
He is internationally known for his pioneering work in both gynecologic microsurgery and operative laparoscopy. He demonstrated the efficacy of microsurgical techniques in reproductive surgery and was able to teach these techniques internationally. He recognized early that laparoscopy provided an excellent surgical access route; and was the first to demonstrate the efficacy of laparoscopic fertility-promoting procedures and one of the first to use laparoscopic surgical access for other, general gynecologic procedures. These techniques have gained international acceptance and recognition.
Dr, Gomel’s experimental work, over many decades, was designed to elucidate the functions of the fallopian tube, and to better understand the tubal and peritoneal factors that cause infertility. Microsurgical techniques were employed to alter the structure of the fallopian tube and thus gain understanding of the function of its various parts. Another aspect of his animal work was designed to better understand the formation of peritoneal adhesions. This work was carried out with the collaboration of members and various trainees (fellows) in his Department.
He established an in vitro fertilization (IVF) program in Vancouver in 1981. Under his leadership this program was the first to achieve success, resulting in the birth (on December 25, 1983) of the first IVF baby in Canada.
He was responsible for the establishment of a masters and PhD. Program “Reproductive and Developmental Sciences”, within his Department, which has been operative since 1984; at present this program has more than 40 graduate students. He actively participated in the planning of the facilities of the BC Women’s Hospital (prior Grace Hospital), which opened in 1982. He was also instrumental in the creation of the “Women’s Health Centre,” in the same institution, which was the first such tertiary facility in Canada, and has been operational since early 1992.
In addition to medical students and residents, he has trained in Vancouver post doctoral fellows from all over the World, many of whom currently hold important positions, in Canada and in their own countries.
Dr. Gomel authored a long list of scientific articles published in prestigious international journals. He wrote numerous book chapters, and authored and edited several books. His authored books, among others, include “Gynecology: A Practical Approach”, co-authored with Malcolm Munro and Timothy Rowe (Williams and Wilkins 1990), a problem oriented text designed for medical students, interns, junior residents and general practitioners. Published in 1983 (Little Brown & Co.), his book “Microsurgery in Female Infertility” is considered a classic. His book “Diagnostic and Operative Gynecologic Laparoscopy” (Mosby 1995) was highly acclaimed. In addition he has been the editor or co-editor of several other books including “Female Genital Prolapse and Urinary Incontinence”(Informa 2008). His most recent book is “Reconstructive and Reproductive Surgery in Gynecology” (Informa 2010); a second edition is in preparation.He is on the editorial boards of numerous important international scientific journals. He has been on the Board of Trustees and Executive Boards of many national and international scientific societies, including among others, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (previously AFS), the American Association of Gynecologic Endoscopists (AAGL) and the International Society of Gynecologic Endoscopy. He served as president several societies, including the Society of Reproductive Surgeons, the AAGL, the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, and the International Society of In Vitro Fertilization (ISIVF).
He has received honorary memberships and awards of excellence from numerous international scientific societies and universities, including his own Faculty of Medicine, in recognition of his pioneering work in reproductive medicine and gynecologic surgery. Professor Gomel was also the recipient, of the prestigious distinction of Chevalier of the order of Légion d’Honneur, awarded by Jacques Chirac, President of France in 2003. In 2008, he was elected “Fellow” to the World Academy of Art and Science, and in 2009 he received the degree of Doctor of Science, Honoris causa, from the Simon Fraser University. He has been awarded “Honorary Membership” by the European Society of Human Reproduction & Embryology (ESHRE) in 2012 and the AAGL in 2015. In 2013 the prize “Jacques Salat-Baroux” in reproduction from the “National Academy of Medicine of France.” He has since been elected as foreign member to the same academy.