2021 Achievement Award Winners

The AST honors contributions to the field of transplantation and to the society through our Achievement Awards.

2021 awardees were recognized on Sunday, June 6, 2020 at the 2021 AST Awards Ceremony during the ATC Virtual Connect.  

Advancing Equity in Organ Transplantation Award

Clive O. Callender, MD, DSC
Howard University College of Medicine

The inaugural Advancing Equity in Organ Transplantation Award goes to Dr. Clive Callender of Howard University Hospital. Dr. Callender is the LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr. Professor of Surgery and has also served as chairman of the Department of Surgery at Howard University College of Medicine and the Director of the Howard University Transplant Center.

Following undergraduate studies at Hunter College in New York, Dr. Callender went on to medical school at Meharry Medical College and then did an internship at University of Cincinnati. He received his surgical training at Howard University and Freedmen’s Hospital, and then received his transplant surgical training at the University of Minnesota with Dr. John Najarian and Dr. Richard Simmons. Dr. Callender was the third African American transplant surgeon.

After returning to Howard University Hospital in 1973, he helped develop the first minority directed dialysis and transplant center and histocompatibility and immunogenetic laboratory in the United States, which became the Howard University Hospital Transplant Center. He soon discovered that the greatest obstacle in transplant medicine was the scarcity of donors. In particular, although African Americans were more likely to have hypertension, kidney disease, and diabetes, and therefore were more likely to need dialysis; but data indicated that they were rarely organ donors.

Dr. Callender wanted to explore the reasons for this discrepancy, and together with psychologist Dr. James Bayton and a $500 grant, developed a study which gathered information from some 40 people from the District of Columbia on why they were reluctant to become donors and their perceptions of transplantation. Through their interaction with this study group, Dr. Callender and his partner were able to gain insight into the reluctance of African Americans to become donors. In addition, after educating this group of people about transplantation, all signed donor cards.

This led to the DC organ donor program, which doubled the number of African American donors there and proved its effectiveness. With the support of Dow Chemical, the program soon took Dr. Callender to 25 cities across the US. A Gallup poll after this program showed that the number of African Americans who were willing to become donors had tripled.

With these early successes in mind, they founded the national Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program, to work across minority communities to increase understanding and donation rates. MOTTEP received $16 million between 1993 and 2010 from the National Institutes of Health to develop MOTTEP sites across the United States. Throughout his career and association with MOTTEP, Dr. Callender served as a spokesperson for organ donation at over a thousand community meetings. Since the inception of the program, African American organ donation rates have more than tripled, and in fact, in 2010 African Americans were the number one ethnic group donating organs in the US.

In addition to Dr. Callender’s work with MOTTEP, he was instrumental in addressing some of the inequities of organ allocation – particularly in the area of the use of HLA antigen matching across all races. Dr. Callender has authored over 125 scientific publications on transplantation. He was a charter member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and an early Chair of its Membership Committee member. He has also held leadership positions with the NKF, the National Medical Association, UNOS, the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, and many other professional societies.

Most importantly, Dr. Callender has served as a role model and mentor to generations of young African-Americans interested in careers in transplantation. The AST is proud to present this inaugural Advancing Equity in Organ Transplantation to a trailblazer in equity in transplantation, Dr. Clive O. Callender.

Senior Achievement Award in Clinical Transplantation

David J. Cohen, MD
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
New York Presbyterian Hospital

The Senior Achievement Award in Clinical Transplantation recognizes outstanding contributions to clinical transplantation.  The 2021 award was given to Dr. David Cohen of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

During his 35+ years in transplant, Dr. Cohen’s career has focused on three areas: providing excellent clinical care, training the next generation of leaders, and advancing the field of transplantation. To accomplish these goals, his time has been divided between clinical research, clinical care, teaching, administration, and service to the transplant community at large.

Dr. Cohen currently serves as the Daniel Midler-John A Catsimatidis Professor of Nephrology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, where he has been the Medical Director of the Kidney Transplant Program since 1988.  He has led the AST-accredited Transplant Nephrology Fellowship Program at Columbia, and has trained over 25 fellows in a rich learning environment blending an intense clinical experience along with involvement in clinical research.  Nearly all of his Fellows are in full-time academic positions at transplant programs across the US, and several have become Program Directors.

Dr. Cohen has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals involving clinical research and transplantation policy, as well as a number of book chapters. He was engaged in early clinical trials as well as post-marketing studies of almost all of the new anti-rejection medications as they were introduced over the past several decades. More recently, his work has focused on analyzing data on the current use and discard of deceased donor kidneys, with the goal of reducing wastage, and on the impact of COVID-19 on transplant recipients.

Since 1987, Dr. Cohen has been an AST member and has served the Society in multiple roles, with extensive contributions on the Public Policy Committee and in education of AST members on issues involving managed care in transplantation, as well as a term on the AST Board from 2009-2012.

Dr. Cohen’s long and distinguished career in clinical kidney transplantation and his decades long service to the AST make him a most deserving recipient of the 2021 Senior Achievement Award in Clinical Transplantation.

Mentoring Award

John Bucuvalas, MD, FAASLD, FAST
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

The Mentoring Award highlights AST members who have made outstanding contributions to the education of future leaders in transplantation. The 2021 recipient is Dr. John Bucuvalas of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Dr. Bucuvalas is truly a “triple threat” physician-scientist, with numerous high-quality publications supported by extramural federal funding, while also being recognized as a master educator and excellent clinician.  As an international leader in the field of pediatric liver transplantation, he has published over 150 peer reviewed publications with over 20 years of continuous NIH funding.  His most recognized research contributions relate to medication non-adherence, late liver allograft injury, immunosuppression withdrawal protocols, and liver allocation models. 

As a mentor, Dr. Bucuvalas’ dedication to his mentees is not hindered by such obstacles as institutional structure, professional responsibilities, or geographic location.  His relationships with his mentees, once established, are longstanding, and he is generous with his time, offers candid advice, and seeks no credit for his mentees’ successes—despite his undoubted influence.  More than half of his past and current mentees presently hold major institutional leadership roles.  In addition to their local leadership positions, many of these physicians are national leaders in the field of pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology. 

Dr. Bucuvalas has been a longstanding AST member and a valuable leader and contributor to LICOP and PCOP initiatives, mentoring multiple individuals through LICOP and the formal mentoring program he developed with a LICOP mentee.  He was a powerful voice for the pediatric transplant community during his time as a Member-At-Large of the LICOP Executive Committee, bringing innovative ideas to important LICOP initiatives and guiding LICOP’s research and advocacy initiatives in pediatric liver transplantation.

What motivates Dr. Bucuvalas is not personal success, but rather the success of the individuals he supports and the advancement of patient care that all collectively achieve as a team.  Indeed, Dr. Bucuvalas approaches his mentor role as if he were a member of a team, leveraging his skills and his resources for the benefit of his mentees without necessarily getting anything in return.  

Dr. Bucuvalas has clearly established himself as one of the most dedicated and prolific mentors in transplantation and is extremely deserving of this award.

Physician of Distinction Award

Helen S. Te, MD
University of Chicago Medicine

The inaugural Physician of Distinction Award was presented to Dr. Helen Te of the University of Chicago Medicine. This award is designed to recognize outstanding transplant physicians whose careers are focused on clinical care and also have a reputation as an outstanding clinician and innovator.

Dr. Te’s name is synonymous with the University of Chicago Medicine’s Liver Transplant program, which she has led as the Medical Director of the Adult Liver Transplant Program for 15 years.    Through her sustained efforts, at times as the sole transplant hepatologist of the program, she maintained UNOS accreditation, led a loyal staff of coordinators and nurses, and eventually helped to re-invigorate the program to its status today as a leader in liver transplantation. She has also led efforts in various treatment protocols including co-authoring the AST IDCOP guidelines on viral hepatitis.  She has over 80 peer-reviewed publications, the vast majority of them related to topics in chronic liver disease and liver transplantation, multi-organ transplantation and immunosuppression.  Dr. Te has dedicated the latter part of her career to policy making, guideline development, and program planning of national conferences. 

As an AST member for over 20 years, Dr. Te has held numerous leadership roles within the AST since 2013.  She served on the Executive Committees of both the Women’s Health COP and the Liver and Intestinal COP, and later served as LICOP Executive Committee Chair. She has also Co-Chaired the Public Policy Subcommittee of LICOP since 2016. She has been actively involved in all aspects of the American Transplant Congress (ATC) since 2009, culminating in her position as Chair of the ATC program planning committee this past year and her leadership of one of the earliest and most successful virtual national conferences since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Te is a recognized leader in the field of liver transplantation, a tremendous patient advocate, and an admired and respected role model.  She is the embodiment of a successful, highly-productive, and well respected clinician.

Transplant Advocacy Award

Kevin Fowler, BSBA
The Voice of the Patient

The 2021 Transplant Advocacy Award recipient was Mr. Kevin Fowler of The Voice of the Patient.

Mr. Fowler has a deep passion for patient advocacy and patient engagement, which stems from his experience receiving a kidney transplant in 2004 and his 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry.  Combining his professional background and experience as a patient has given him a unique perspective, which he uses to advocate for patient voice and recipients’ rights with organizations like the Kidney Health Initiative, the Renal Research Institute, and the Coalition for Kidney Health at the National Kidney Foundation, as well as AST’s Transplant Patient Advisory Group.  He has also served as a Patient Voice Editor for cJASN and published a number of papers in several major transplant and nephrology journals, including the AJT.  

Transplant patients are lucky to have Mr. Fowler advocating on their behalf.



Basic Science Established Investigator Award 

Xian Li, MD, PhD
Houston Methodist Hospital

The Basic Science Established Investigator award is awarded to a senior basic scientist at the professor level.  The 2021 award went to Dr. Xian Li from the Houston Methodist Hospital.

Dr. Li is a first-class transplant immunologist and original thinker who has dedicated his research career to the study of transplant rejection and tolerance and has been published in many prominent journals, including Nature Medicine, Science, and the Journal of Experimental Medicine. While in Terry Strom’s lab during his fellowship, he discovered that T cell apoptosis is essential for the induction of peripheral transplantation tolerance and that immunosuppressive regimens targeting both the T cell receptor and costimulatory molecules could prevent apoptosis and the induction of tolerance. His study of cytokines led him to the discovery that IL-15 and IL-2 determine T cell survival in vivo.

As an independent investigator, Dr. Li has continued his work in the field of tolerance and transplantation immunology and has made several paradigm-shifting observations. His continuous and abundant federal support, currently in the form of three R01 grants and a Kleberg foundation grant in addition to collaborative funding, ensure that he will continue to be extremely successful in transplantation research.   

Dr. Li has provided extensive service to the AST. He served two terms as a member of the AST Basic Science Advisory Council, is a member of the Community of Transplant Scientists, served as chair of the Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Advisory Council, is an associate editor of the AJT, chaired the AST Grants Executive Committee, and most recently chaired the ATC Program Planning Committee at the ATC 2018 in Seattle, arguably one of the most important volunteer tasks of the AST.

Dr. Li’s impact on the transplant research community is also exemplified by the numerous fellows he has mentored, many of them now in prominent positions at leading institutions and at the forefront of patient care and transplant research world-wide.

Dr. Li is a sharp, reliable, enthusiastic, and collaborative scientist, engaged and full of innovative ideas. He has an enormous work capacity and responsibly gets things done, side-by-side with juggling the organization of the lab.

Clinical Science Established Investigator Award 

Krista Lentine, MD, PhD
Saint Louis University Transplant Center

The 2021 Clinical Science Established Investigator Award, presented to a professor-level senior clinical scientist, was presented to Dr. Krista Lentine from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.  Dr. Lentine is a Professor of Medicine with Tenure with the Saint Louis University Division of Nephrology and the SLU Center for Outcomes Research, with a secondary appointment in the College for Public Health and Social Justice in the Department of Health Management and Policy at SLU.  She also serves as Medical Director of the living donor kidney transplant program.

Dr. Lentine’s successful clinical research career developed through the integration of her passion for transplant with her strong background in epidemiology and public health.  She has been funded for her entire career, beginning with her K08 award on cardiovascular outcomes risk prediction. Her research has focused on several areas of critical interest in transplantation, which have been fundamentally affected by her results.  These include cardiovascular outcomes and management in kidney transplant recipients; living donor evaluation, safety and outcomes; economic benefits and analysis of transplant clinical practice; and the impact of COVID-19 on living donor transplantation.  Her research strategies include innovative linkages of national registries, claims data, and electronic health databases to inform transplant providers of outcomes while influencing guidelines and national policy-making. She has facilitated research collaborations between transplant centers, as well as across disciplines.  Dr. Lentine has demonstrated incredible productivity; she has 266 peer reviewed manuscripts, 4 more in press, 17 book chapters, 19 blogs, and innumerable abstracts that were primarily presented as oral presentations. She has served as a mentor for doctoral students, medical undergraduates, and trainees.

Dr. Lentine has been an active member of the AST since joining in 2006 as a junior faculty. She served as the co-chair of the Living Donor COP, and participated in numerous work groups of the LDCOP and KPCOP.  Her efforts and leadership have been instrumental in bringing projects to successful completion, including publications, abstracts, and conference presentations. She has also been extensively involved in the ATC and a frequent speaker or moderator for AST Online Journal Clubs.  She is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Transplantation, and serves as a mentor for the newly established AJT Editorial Fellowship, providing supervision and teaching for the next generation of editorial board members.

Dr. Lentine epitomizes excellence in her research career, displaying self-motivation, enthusiasm, collaboration, and resourcefulness.  Her past and ongoing research efforts help improve the outcomes of donation and transplantation, and honor the altruism of organ donors and the courage, hope and gratitude of those who seek and receive transplants. 

Distinguished Senior Career Award 

Elisa Gordon, PhD, MPH
Northwestern University

The 2021 Distinguished Senior Career Award, presented to a senior clinician or administrator, went to Dr. Elisa Gordon from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

Dr. Gordon has been an amazing asset to the field of transplantation from the unique vantage point of an ethicist. In her career, she has focused on the most important challenges that face the consent process for donors and recipients. She has extensively published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and was instrumental in creating educational modules for patients and professionals alike.

Her ability to make connections makes Dr. Gordon especially deserving of this award.  She has been leading professional committees for her institutions and a number of professional societies since 1999.  This work required her to lead thought-provoking discussions across institutions and disciplines.  Her impact is also evident in the many individuals she has mentored.  Her rigorous and thorough approach prepares her mentees for successful academic careers.

Dr. Gordon has been an AST member for many years, and has served as a frequent ATC abstract reviewer, an Associate Editor of the AJT, Co-Chair of the Psychosocial and Ethics Community of Practice, and most recently as a member of the IDEAL Task Force.  She also has nearly continuous service to OPTN/UNOS on a variety of committees from 2007 through the present, including four terms on the Ethics Committee, on which she is currently serving as Chair, as well as service on the Policy Oversight Committee, the Joint Vascularized Composite Tissue Allografts/Living Donor/Ethics Committee, and several workgroups.

The field of transplantation has clearly been impacted by Dr. Gordon’s continued commitment and intellect.

Basic Science Investigator Award

Jonathan Maltzman, MD, PhD
Stanford University

Dr. Jonathan Maltzman of Stanford University was the recipient of the 2021 Basic Science Investigator Award.

Dr. Maltzman has 20 years of experience in transplantation as a clinician and basic investigator.  He has a strong record of impactful discoveries in transplant immunology, and more recently, has focused on a clinically important area of T cell immunity to CMV infection in transplant recipients.  His more significant discoveries include the definition of T cell receptor signaling, the signaling requirements for memory T cell generation and maintenance, and more recently, the human T cell response to persistent CMV infection.  With his move to Stanford in 2015, Dr. Maltzman refocused his research to the study of immune responses in transplant recipients, and the impact of CMV infection on the patient T cell repertoire and function.  He has reported on T cell inflation and immune-senescence of CMV-specific CD8+ T cells after solid organ transplantation and on newly acquired techniques that should also be useful for the analysis of T cell responses to other viral infections.  His observation of clonal inflation of T cells to persistent CMV infection in humans runs counter-intuitive to reports of T cell exhaustion in mouse models of chronic LCMV infection. 

During COVID, Dr. Maltzman began a new line of investigation that addresses antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  He was instrumental in developing a multiplex assay to detect these antibodies, quickly obtained funding, and is now investigating the relationship of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of anti-HLA antibodies.  Dr. Maltzman’s studies will continue to be highly impactful and reshape our understanding of human responses to persistent and acute viral infections that are of particular relevance to clinical transplantation.

Dr. Maltzman has taken on numerous leadership roles in the AST.  He served as the co-Chair and Chair of the Community of Basic Scientists, Grants Committee, AST/TIRN Committee and FAST Committee.  He is a current Councilor-at-large and member of the ASTS/AST Joint Council, and is the AST/COTS representative to FOCIS. 

Dr. Maltzman’s blend of experience and expertise has propelled him to be a prominent member of numerous professional societies in addition to AST. He has also served the American Society of Nephrology, the American Association of Immunologists, and the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies in numerous capacities, including Chair of the Education Committee and Secretary/Treasurer for FOCIS and as a member of the Program Planning Committee for the ASN.   

As a wonderfully collaborative, effective, and organized physician-scientist, dedicated to both AST and other societies, Dr. Maltzman is highly deserving of this award.  

Clinical Science Investigator Award

Vatche Agopian, MD
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

The 2021 Clinical Science Investigator Award was presented to Dr. Vatche from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 

Dr. Agopian is a highly successful, productive, and well-funded clinical and translational investigator who has made indelible footprints in the field of liver transplantation. In spite of his busy clinical practice as a liver transplant surgeon, his clinical and translational research works have addressed many difficult issues in liver transplantation.

Dr. Agopian’s initial scholarly work embodied the development of predictive models or scores to guide the optimization of patient outcomes following liver transplantation. His early research has directly impacted practices at liver transplantation centers, resulting in use of intraoperative hemodialysis and transforming the management strategies for polycystic liver disease patients.  Dr. Agopian continues to work on improving the outcomes of liver transplantation recipients, directing his energies towards the study of an increasing indication for liver transplantation - Hepatocellular carcinoma.  Dr. Agopian has already published 100 peer-reviewed articles and six co-authored book chapters, and has an outstanding funding track record, currently serving as PI for an NIH grant award, Site PI for two NIH grant awards, Co-PI for 4 NIH grant awards, and Co-PI for two industry funded grants. 

Within AST, Dr. Agopian has been an active member since he joined the society, and is currently serving as a Member-at-Large on the AST LICOP Executive Committee and as the Chair of the AST LICOP Public Policy Subcommittee, where he leads the LICOP response to various UNOS and other public policy changes put forth for public or society comments. This is not an easy feat in this particular time of radical liver allocation changes, where many LICOP members stand polarized. Yet, Dr. Agopian objectively, comprehensively, and accurately represents the voices of LICOP members in the summary submitted to the AST Board of Directors. Beyond AST, Dr. Agopian has been an active participant in the American Transplant Congress activities, serving as an abstract reviewer, a moderator and an invited speaker many times over in the past several meetings. He is a nationally recognized thought leader in liver transplantation and HCC, and his growing reputation is reflected in his recent appointment as a Deputy Editor of the Liver Transplantation journal.

Dr. Agopian exemplifies a highly prolific, talented, and well-respected researcher, who has been an asset to the AST and to the liver transplant community as a whole.

Distinguished Mid-Career Award

Nicole A. Pilch, PharmD, MSCR, BCPS, FAST
Medical University of South Carolina

The 2021 Distinguished Mid-Career Award recipient is Dr. Nicole Pilch from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Pilch is a highly productive researcher who has significant experience in all aspects of outcomes research.  Her research accomplishments include publication of over 75 manuscripts and 18 book chapters.  Her research has focused on the advancement of immunosuppression in the underserved African American community, transplant pharmacy, and more recently transplant quality and outcomes.

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Pilch has mentored countless learners and recent graduates in clinical experiential practice rotations, research, and quality improvement projects.  Through her leadership, she established a core group of transplant pharmacists at MUSC that have each excelled as clinicians, educators, and researchers, but more importantly as an enviable team.  She has continued her dedication to training of clinical specialists and scientists by her active role in the MUSC pharmacy residency program having served as the Pharmacy Practice Program Director.  She has recently been appointed as Director of Quality and Outcomes and Director of Regulatory Affairs and Accreditation at MUSC.

Over the past 10 years, Dr. Pilch has grown into a nationally recognized professional within the areas of transplantation and clinical pharmacy practice. She has held numerous leadership positions within AST, UNOS, and the pharmacy organizations of ACCP and ASHP.  For the AST, she served on the Executive Committee of the Transplant Pharmacy COP.  She has led national initiatives to both improve the care of transplant patients and demonstrate the value of clinical transplant pharmacy services. Specifically, she led efforts in the transplant pharmacist national workforce assessment and spearheaded the development of guidelines and recommendations for best practices within transplant pharmacy, leading to publications within AJT and AJHP.  Her leadership on better defining the role of a transplant pharmacist is evidenced by her senior author status on publication, “Evolution of the Role of the Transplant Pharmacist on the Multidisciplinary Transplant Team.” She continues her work in this area by leading the “Impact of Transplant Pharmacist Workgroup” which is developing a business model to facilitate transplant pharmacists’ incorporation into the transplant team.

Dr. Pilch has gained the respect of the transplant and pharmacy communities through her hard work, leadership and professional endeavors, and is very deserving of the AST Distinguished Mid-Career Award.

Basic Science Career Development Award

Mamatha Bhat, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Ajmera Transplant Program, University Health Network, Toronto

The 2021 Basic Science Career Development Award went to Dr. Mamatha Bhat of the Ajmera Transplant Program, University Health Network at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Bhat is a hepatologist and clinician-scientist who has a unique interdisciplinary skillset in the wet lab and computational biology. She has been employing this unique combination of skills in her translational research program, dedicated to understanding the mechanistic basis of long-term metabolic and malignant complications in liver transplant recipients, specifically focusing on Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, post-transplant diabetes, and Hepatocellular carcinoma. She aims to inform development of precise preventive and therapeutic strategies for these complications, with these questions directly informed by her clinical practice as a transplant hepatologist.

Dr. Bhat has over 70 publications to her credit, mostly as first or senior author, and has successfully secured external peer-reviewed funding from the American Society of Transplantation, the Canadian Liver Foundation, the Canadian Donation and Transplant Research Program, as well as federal funding from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Dr. Bhat is a member of the Liver and Intestine Community of Practice (LICOP).  She has reviewed several articles for the American Journal of Transplantation, and has served as an abstract reviewer for the PTLD/Malignancies section for the American Transplant Congress over the last 3 years.  Dr. Bhat has also been elected to international committees such as the Clinical Research committee of the AASLD, the Research Committee of the Canadian Association for Study of Liver, and the Basic and Translational Science Committee of the International Liver Transplant Society.

Dr. Bhat’s productivity in basic and translational science in transplant medicine and her contributions to the transplant community have been outstanding at this early stage in her career and make her very deserving of this award.  

Clinical Science Career Development Award

Juliet Emamaullee, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS
Keck Medicine of USC / Children's Hospital, Los Angeles

The 2021 Clinical Science Career Development Award was presented to Dr. Juliet Emamaullee of Keck Medicine of USC and the Children’s Hospital at Los Angeles.

Despite the rigors of her surgical practice during her first four years on faculty, Dr. Emamaullee has distinguished herself as an academic rising star.  Dr. Emamaullee has established a robust translational research program that dovetails her clinical research interests in pediatric liver transplantation with a basic immunology research program aimed to develop immunologic biomarkers of allograft rejection in liver transplantation. She serves as the Principal Investigator of numerous institutional, societal, and industry research grant awards, and most notably was funded for her NIH K08 award entitled “Immunologic Biomarkers of Rejection in Clinical Liver Transplantation” on her very 1st try!  Her research portfolio boasts more than $2 million dollars of extramural and intramural funding. Her publication record thus far highlights her contributions in the field of transplant immunology, and pediatric and living-donor liver transplantation. She has authored 28 publications since her appointment on faculty, 15 as first or last author, in numerous high-impact journals. Overall, her CV boasts 67 publications, 10 book chapters, and 106 meeting abstracts.

Dr. Emamaullee has also distinguished herself with leadership and service to the American Society of Transplantation and to the transplant community. She has been a member of the AST since 2007, serving as a Member-at-Large on the Executive Committees for both the Pediatric Community of Practice and LICOP and reviewing abstracts for the ATC.  She has also served in leadership positions for the ILTS, the ASTS, UNOS, and the North American Living Liver Donation Paired Exchange Pilot Program, as well as positions outside the transplant community with the ACS. 

Since her faculty appointment, Dr. Emamaullee has established a successful, highly funded translational research program, and has contributed to the educational and service missions of the AST.  

Distinguished Early Career Award

Anna Frank, PA-C
Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute

The 2021 Distinguished Early Career Award was presented to Ms. Anna Frank of MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute.

Ms. Frank began her career in abdominal transplant surgery at Duke University Medical Center, where she developed and implemented a 1-year post-graduate fellowship for advanced practice providers in addition to providing perioperative care to donors and transplant recipients and caring for postoperative hepatobiliary surgery patients.  She has since become the lead PA in abdominal transplant at Medstar Georgetown, where she provides patient care and manages all of the inpatient transplant advanced practice providers.  Her administrative duties include operational and utilization strategies for APPs, recruitment and retention, clinical policy and protocol development, and partnering with other members of the healthcare team in quality initiative projects.  Under the leadership of Ms. Frank and her APP team, Medstar Georgetown has developed new clinical pathways and patient-care protocols that have automated much of their service while increasing patient and staff satisfaction and assuring the highest optimal care.

Within AST, Ms. Frank exhibits exceptional leadership as a member of the APP COP Executive Committee.  She is a member of the APP Practice work group, which created a practice survey for transplant APPs across the nation; helped write and submit 3 abstracts for ATC; and is currently working on a manuscript based on the survey. She is a member of the APP COP mentoring committee and serves as a mentor. She has taken the lead in exploring and collaborating with other transplant leaders across the country in developing a Transplant APP certification for AST, and through her work with ASTS she has led increasing collaboration between APPs of both societies.

Ms. Frank is a physician assistant with enormous potential who is well deserving of this award.