Matthew Clifton appointed new chief of Division of Pediatric Surgery

March 2020

Matthew S. Clifton, MD, has been named chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery. Dr. Clifton had been serving as interim chief for more than two years, following the decision of former chief Mark Wulkan, MD, to step down so he could focus on his role as surgeon-in-chief of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"Dr. Clifton was selected for this impressive leadership position after a national search was conducted," says John Sweeney, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery. "The search committee interviewed several of the country's most well-established and up and coming pediatric general surgery leaders, and Dr. Clifton rose to the top of the candidate pool. His hard work and the progress he managed as interim leader of the division was inspiring, as well as his advocacy and support for the pediatric general surgery faculty and his philanthropic and strategic ideas for the division's future."

"Matt is a trusted member of the Pediatric Institute and Children's," says Lucky Jain, MD, MBA, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, chief academic officer of Children's, and executive director of the Pediatric Institute.

Dr. Clifton earned his medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and completed his internship, junior residency, research fellowship, and general surgery residency at the University of California, San Francisco. He joined the Emory Department of Surgery in 2010 after completing his Emory pediatric surgery fellowship.

Dr. Clifton's pediatric general surgery clinical expertise is highly regarded and includes many patient success stories. His research fellowship in basic and clinical science at the UCSF Fetal Treatment Center bolstered his expertise in complex pediatric general surgery, which includes specialization in oncology, complex hepatobiliary surgery, clinical outcomes research, and advanced minimally invasive surgery. As a true academic surgeon, he has been developing and leading the pediatric general surgery fellowship since 2013, and has plans to grow and enhance the program even further.

Dr. Clifton has applied his leadership skills to helping to garner resources to support clinical and research programs, helping raise $100,000 toward these efforts during this year alone. He has also demonstrated a passion for faculty mentorship and has enacted his belief that surgery is a team sport, often calling upon his collegiate sports experiences as a rower when leading academic faculty and staff teams.

"We are incredibly lucky to have Dr. Clifton on our faculty and leadership team," says Dr. Sweeney. "He will be a stellar representative as the division recruits additional faculty, initiates research programs, and helps guide Children's into their new facilities in the coming years."