2020 Speaker Information

CEoT features experts that you recognize covering the latest and most prevalent topics in the transplantation field. Learn more about our set of experts.

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Dr. Francisco Arabia  Dr. Arabia obtained his MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a degree in bioengineering from Tulane Univ. and an MBA from University of AZ. He became Prof of Surgery at University of AZ where he was the surgical director of the Lung Tx Program. He became Chair of Cardiac Surgery at Mayo Clinic AZ where he established the Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Programs. He became Clinical Prof of Surgery at UCLA and Director for Advanced Mechanical Circulatory Support Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He has published extensively in heart transplantation, MCS and the total artificial heart. Dr. Arabia obtained his MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a degree in bioengineering from Tulane Univ. and an MBA from University of AZ. He currently serves as Physician Executive for Advanced Heart Programs at Banner-University of Arizona in Phoenix and Tucson.


Dr. Sumeet Asrani Sumeet Asrani MD MSc is a transplant hepatologist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He is the medical director for the Center for Advanced Liver Disease. He has coauthored over 75 peer reviewed articles and currently is the Associate editor for AJT and chair of the Practice Metric committee for AASLD. His research interests include renal function in liver disease and organ allocation. His recent work includes a new model to estimate GFR: A Model for Glomerular Filtration Rate Assessment in Liver Disease (GRAIL) in the Presence of Renal Dysfunction. In addition, he is currently working on updating the MELD score by addition of GFR


Dr. Carl Berg Dr. Carl Berg is Professor of Medicine, and Medical Director of Liver Transplantation at Duke University, where he also serves as Director of Abdominal Transplantation, and a member of the Duke Transplant Center Steering Committee. He has served in many roles at UNOS/OPTN, including as a member of the MPSC, as Region 11 Councilor, Chair of the Policy Oversight Committee, and as President of UNOS. His interests including expansion of opportunities for liver transplantation to serve a larger pool of candidates, as well as the effective functioning of the transplant system in the United States.



Dr. John Bucuvalas is Professor of Pediatrics, Chief of the Hepatology and Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs in the Jack and Lucy Clark Department of Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai and the Recanati- Miller Transplant Institute. He graduated from Harvard College, and Harvard Medical School. He is board certified in pediatric gastroenterology with a certificate of added qualification in transplant hepatology. He is past Chair of SPLIT, has served on the UNOS Pediatric and Liver Committees, and the ABIM/ABP Board of Transplant Hepatology. He is a fellow of the AASLD and the AST. His primary research efforts, funded by NIH, focus on clinical and translational to define predictors of operational tolerance, to predict risk and determine the mechanism of long term structural liver allograft injury and to define strategies to mitigate non-adherence in transplant recipients.


Dr. Marie Budev, is Medical director of the Cleveland Clinic Lung Transplant and Heart and Lung Transplant Program. Dr. Budev specializes in the treatment of adult patients who have end stage lung disease and congenital heart diseases who are refractory to further medical and surgical therapies. Dr Budev's research focuses on further refining immunosuppression therapy to improve transplant outcomes and quality of life and frailty in lung transplantation . She has authored and co-authored more than 100 abstracts, original articles and book chapters focusing on lung transplantation. Dr Budev’s work has earned her memberships in numerous professional and scientific societies, including the International Society for Heart Lung Transplant, UNOS National Lung Review Board, and The American Thoracic Society. She is currently serves UNOS National Thoracic Committee Lung Representative from Region 10 and ISHLT 2020 International Meeting Lung Abstract Co-Chair and recently was named the National Chair of the UNOS Lung Review Board .



Dr. Mark Cattral is a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He received his medical degree and training in general surgery at the University of Alberta. He completed transplant fellowship training at the University of Chicago and University of Nebraska. Dr. Cattral played a key role in the development of the pancreas and live donor liver transplant programs at Toronto General Hospital. He is currently the Surgical Director of the Living-Donor Liver Transplantation Program at the Toronto General Hospital, and a Senior Scientist in the Toronto General Research Institute. His basic research interests include dendritic cell biology, cancer immunotherapy, and immunologic tolerance




Prof. Glenn Cohen is one of the world's leading experts on the intersection of bioethics (sometimes also called "medical ethics") and the law, as well as health law. He is the author of more than 100 articles and chapters and his award-winning work has appeared in leading legal (including the Stanford, Cornell, and Southern California Law Reviews), medical (including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA), bioethics (including the American Journal of Bioethics, the Hastings Center Report), scientific (Science, Cell, Nature Reviews Genetics) and public health (the American Journal of Public Health) journals, as well as Op-Eds in the New York Times and Washington Post. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 14 books. Cohen was selected as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow for the 2012-2013 year and by the Greenwall Foundation to receive a Faculty Scholar Award in Bioethics. He is also a Fellow at the Hastings Center.


Marcelo Cypel MD, MSc, FACS, FRCSC is the Surgical Director, UHN Transplant Program Surgical Director, UHN ECLS Program Canada Research Chair in Lung Transplantation, Thoracic Surgeon, University Health Network, Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto.





Dr. Gundeep Dhillion is the Medical Director of Heart-Lung and Lung transplantation Program at Stanford Health Care. His research interests include optimization of donor lung allocation and strategies to improve transplant benefit.




Dr. Jeffrey D. Edelman is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at the University of Washington and Director of the Lung Transplant Program at the Seattle VA. He is a clinician/educator with longstanding expertise in lung transplantation, pulmonary vascular disease, and advanced lung diseases.



Dr. Maryjane Farr, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Medical Director of the Adult Heart Transplant Program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Farr is a a graduate of Barnard College (BA’89) and Columbia College of P&S (MD ’98). She completed her Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant training at Columbia University Medical Center (’05). Dr. Farr was the Director of Clinical Trials in Heart Failure and Transplantation at Columbia from 2007-12, obtained a Herbert Irving Scholarship to train at the Mailman School of Public Health (MS’12), and received the Shorin-Silverstein Research in Transplantation award for 2012-14. In addition to running a high-volume heart transplant program, Dr. Farr is the author of > 100 abstracts and manuscripts related to heart failure, transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. Dr. Farr has served in leadership roles on the Federal UNOS Thoracic Committee, MPSC and on New York State Transplant Committees and Consortia.



Dr. Sandy Feng, MD, PhD is a Professor of Surgery and Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Surgery at the University of California San Francisco.
Dr. Feng’s research interests center on exploring mechanisms of spontaneous tolerance and approaches to induce tolerance in adult and pediatric liver transplant recipients. She is the overall principal investigator for four NIH-funded, multi-center tolerance trials and has also served as a site principal investigator for a diverse portfolio of trials testing novel immunosuppression regimens in both kidney and liver transplantation. Dr. Feng has held numerous leadership roles for the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Society of Transplantation, the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, and the United Network for Sharing. Dr. Feng has been one of the eight worldwide Deputy Editors for the American Journal of Transplantation and currently serves on the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine.



Dr. David Foley is Professor of Surgery in the Division of Transplantation at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He is Director of the Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship, Surgical Director of the UWHealth Transplant Clinic, and Surgical Director of the Liver Transplant Program at the William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital in Madison, WI.  His surgical practice includes liver and kidney transplantation, laparoscopic donor nephrectomies, and general surgery. His clinical research is focused on identifying risk factors and improving outcomes of liver transplantation using marginal organs from older, steatotic and DCD donors. He also participates in national clinical trials aimed at decreasing delayed graft function after kidney transplantation. His basic and translational research interests include identifying novel, cell-specific strategies to mitigate ischemia reperfusion injury in kidney and liver transplantation through the activation of endogenous antioxidant pathways and the reduction of pro-inflammatory pathways. 


Dr. John Friedewald has a degree in Psychology from Princeton University and his MD from Columbia University. He completed his residency and fellowship training in Internal Medicine and Nephrology at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
He now works as a transplant nephrologist in Chicago. He is Professor of Medicine and Surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is the Medical Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and he is the Director of Kidney and Pancreas Clinical Research for the Transplant Center.
His clinical interests include improving options for highly sensitized patients through desensitization and kidney paired donation (KPD). One of his main research interests is developing non-invasive genomic biomarkers for use in transplantation. 
He is currently the Vice Chair of the MPSC at UNOS. He is past Chair of the AST Kidney and Pancreas Community of Practice.


Dr. Sommer Gentry is Professor of Mathematics at the United States Naval Academy, and is also on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is a senior investigator with the U.S. Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients. She earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2005. She builds optimization and simulation models to reduce geographic disparity in organ allocation. She has also worked to maximize the number of kidney exchanges, serving as an advisor to the U.S. and Canada on their national kidney exchange registries. Her work helped convince Congress to declare kidney paired donation legal in December 2007. She is funded by the National Institutes of Health and her findings have been highlighted in major media outlets including Scientific American, Time Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Science, and National Public Radio. Gentry has also received the MAA’s Henry L. Alder award for distinguished teaching.


Dr. Alexandra Glazier is President & CEO of New England Donor Services, an affiliation between two OPOs serving 200 hospitals,14 transplant centers and a population of 14 million people in six states. In the first two years of affiliation, organ donation in the LifeChoice service area doubled. NEDS was named a Modern Healthcare Top Places to Work and a Top 100 Woman-led Business by the Boston Globe. Prior to NEDS, Alex served 2 years as CEO of NEOB where under her leadership the OPO coordinated the first HIV+ donation for transplantation under the HOPE Act and the first GUVCA transplant in the U.S. Alex serves on the OPTN/UNOS Board and is Chair of the Policy Oversight Committee. She previously served on the MPSC, the Geography Committee, chaired the Ethics Committee and held a 6-year appointment on ACOT. In a prior life, Alex practiced law at the firm Ropes & Gray.


Dr. David Goldberg is a trained clinical epidemiologist and health services researcher, with expertise in end-stage liver disease, geographic access to healthcare, and organ transplantation. Dr. Goldberg is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and a transplant hepatologist with a clinical practice of patients across the liver disease spectrum. Dr. Goldberg has received funding from the NIH, non-profit healthcare foundations, and the pharmaceutical via several investigator-initiated research grants. Dr. Goldberg’s publication record includes manuscripts in JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Goldberg is currently the single PI of an R01 focused on developing new long-term survival benefit models to improve waitlist prioritization for a liver transplant, and the Co-PI of a U34 that is a planning grant to develop a multi-center clinical trial to transplant kidneys from deceased donors infected with hepatitis C into uninfected patients with end-stage renal disease.




Dr. Shelley Hall is the Chief of Transplant Cardiology and Mechanical Circulatory Support and Advanced Heart Failure at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX. She is an Associate Clinical Professor for Texas A&M Medical School. Dr. Hall is nationally recognized in the transplant community. She is the Chair of the UNOS Cardiac Committee, the Chair of the American Society of Transplant TCC COP, the UNOS Region 4 representative and the Secretary/Treasurer or the Texas Chapter of the ACC. She received her medical degree at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and remained there for Internal Medicine Residency and Cardiology Fellowship, specializing in advanced congestive heart failure, transplantation and mechanical support. Her research interests are cardiogenic shock and percutaneous support devices, the minimization of testing and treatments in cardiac transplant recipients and the utilization of more donors.


Dr. Matthew Hartwig, MD  was born at Duke University Medical Center, trained at Duke University Health System, and now works at Duke Health as an Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. My clinical practice runs the gamut of general thoracic surgery including thoracic oncology and benign diseases of the airway and foregut. Additionally, we have one of the largest lung transplant programs in the world, having performed over 2000 lung transplants since 1993. I had the privilege of serving as Surgical Director for that program prior to taking a role with the Executive Committee for the Duke Transplant Center. My research efforts include bench and translational work as a founding collaborator in the Duke Ex-Vivo Organ Perfusion Lab (DEVOL), as well as health services research aimed at improving the delivery of care for transplant recipients. In particular, improving donor management, selection, and utilization remains a particular interest.



Benjamin Hippen MD, FASN, FAST is a general and transplant nephrologist with Metrolina Nephrology Associates, P.A., a 37-nephrologist practice based in Charlotte, NC, and is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He recently concluded a term as chair of the Medical Review Board of ESRD Network 6, and a member of the Medical Advisory Council for the Forum of ESRD Networks. Dr. Hippen’s current research interests are focused on dismantling cultural and operational barriers between transplant centers, nephrology practices, and dialysis providers, as well as designing and implementing value-based care models in service to expanding access to kidney transplantation. Dr. Hippen serves on the Board of Directors of Interwell Health, a recently formed national population health management company, focused on implementing value-based care models for patients with kidney disease.



Dr. Maryl Johnson, received her MD and training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Iowa. She was instrumental in establishing Iowa’s cardiac transplant program and has devoted her career to caring for patients with heart failure, including those who require mechanical circulatory support or heart transplantation, at Loyola, Rush, Northwestern, and the University of Wisconsin. She is a past member of the NHLBI Advisory Council and past Chair of the ACC Heart Failure/Transplant Committee. She is Past-President of the AST, and has served on the ATC Program Planning Committee since 2014. She is Past-President of the ISHLT and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. She is past Chair of the OPTN Thoracic Organ Committee and Data Advisory Committee, a past Board member and Secretary of the UNOS/OPTN, and currently serves as President of the UNOS/OPTN.



Kiran Kaur Khush graduated with Honors and Distinction in Biological Sciences from Stanford University. She completed her medical training at Harvard University and medical residency at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), followed by general cardiology training and advanced training in heart failure, heart transplantation, pulmonary hypertension, and echocardiography at UCSF. She then joined the faculty at UCSF while concomitantly earning a Masters’ Degree in Clinical Research and Epidemiology. Dr. Khush moved back to Stanford University in 2008 upon joining the faculty in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, where she focuses on clinical and translational research in the field of heart transplantation. She currently serves as Director of Heart Transplant Research at Stanford and Program Director for the Stanford Advanced Heart Failure Transplant Cardiology Fellowship


Dr. Jon Kobashigawa, MD serves as the Director of the Advanced Heart Disease Section and Director of the Heart Transplant Program at the Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute. He is the DSL/Thomas D. Gordon Professor of Medicine and is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the heart transplant field. He is a past President of the ISHLT, a past chair of the American College of Cardiology Committee on Heart Failure and Transplantation, a past member of the National Thoracic Committee of UNOS, and a current member of the Board of Directors of the AST. Dr. Kobashigawa has published over 350 peer-reviewed articles, chapters and monographs in the field of heart transplantation and has chaired several multi-center heart transplant studies. He has published in prestigious journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


Dr. Vineeta Kumar is an Endowed Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine and Division of Nephrology at University of Alabama in Birmingham where she also serves as the lead nephrologist for the UAB Incompatible kidney transplant program as well as the living kidney donor program. She has been recognized as a consummate teacher and clinician with multiple teaching and clinical excellence awards annually including the UAB President's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2019 and the Brewer Heslin award for professionalism in 2016. She is a passionate advocate for her patients, donors, colleagues and students and has served AST for the past 10 years in various roles including the AST Education Committee and was the Chair in 2015, is currently the co-chair for the Living donor community of Practice and a member of the AST Community Education Committee.


Dr. John R. Lake, MD, is a Professor of Surgery and Medicine. He is also the Executive Medical Director for Solid Organ Transplantation at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. In addition, he serves as senior staff for liver at the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to moving to the University of Minnesota in 1998, he helped start and was the Medical Director of the Liver Transplant Program at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Lake is a past-president of the American Society of Transplantation and a past-president of the United Network for Organ Sharing. He has authored more than 200 articles and 25 reviews in peer-reviewed journals and 28 book chapters. He is a past Editor for the journal Liver Transplantation.


Dr. Erika D. Lease, MD, is a transplant pulmonologist and the Medical Director of the University of Washington (UW) Lung Transplant Program. In addition, she is an attending with the UW Solid Organ Transplant Infectious Disease program. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the United Network of Sharing (UNOS) Thoracic Organ Transplantation Committee.




Dr. Deborah Levine is a Lung Transplant Physician, Professor of Medicine, and Medical Director of the Lung Transplant Program at UT San Antonio. She has been a leader in the field of lung transplant in leadership positions, research, and clinical endeavors. She has tirelessly been involved with every aspect of the management of lung transplant recipients. Early in her career, she coauthored a paper regarding the management of lung donors. She has subsequently been involved in teaching several OPOs the details of lung donor management, including hands on bronchoscopy techniques. She recently developed and led a consensus conference regarding antibody mediated rejection in lung transplantation. This led to an important paper in the field of lung transplant. In addition, she has been on the Program Committee and several working groups in the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplant Society evaluating important concepts in lung transplant. She has held a leadership position as the Lung Transplant Chair in the American College of Chest Physicians. During this time, Dr. Levine organized several symposia around Antibody medicated rejection, donor management, immunosuppression, lung allocation system, and complications after transplantation, including acute and chronic rejection as well as infectious complications. She has been becoming more involved in the AST over the last few years in the Thoracic and Critical Care Community of Practice (TCC COP), the STAR AMR committee, lecturing and chairing in the annual meeting, and in chairing the abstracts for lung transplantation. Her goal is to become more involved with the TCC COP to help the growing involvement of lung transplant physicians in the COP and the AST organization. She is very interested in creating more education of lung transplantation to the AST.


Dr. Jayme Locke is the Mark H. Deierhoi Endowed Professor and Vice Chair of Health Services Research for the Department of Surgery and the Director of the Comprehensive Transplant Institute at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. She is an abdominal transplant surgeon who specializes in innovative strategies for the transplantation of incompatible organs, disparities in access to and outcomes after solid organ transplantation, and transplantation of HIV-infected end-stage patients. Dr. Locke is also an NIH-funded investigator with research interests in complex statistical analysis and modeling of transplant outcomes and behavioral research focused on health disparities.




Dr. Bonnie  E. Lonze, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Vice Chair for Research in the NYU Langone Transplant Institute. She received both her Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed general surgery residency training and an abdominal transplant fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and was a member of the surgical faculty at Johns Hopkins before moving to NYU Langone Health in 2016. She is certified in general surgery by the by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Lonze’s clinical practice is primarily living and deceased-donor kidney transplants, laparoscopic living donor nephrectomies, and deceased donor multi-organ procurements. As the Vice Chair for Research she is involved in the design and execution the multi-disciplinary and multi-visceral clinical trials for all solid organ transplant patients at NYU Langone Health.


Dr. Joshua Malo received his M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He joined the faculty at the University of Arizona in Tucson after completing his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine there. He is currently the Associate Medical Director of the Lung Transplant Program at the Banner University Medical Center Tucson. Additionally, he is the Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency. His interests include clinical lung transplantation, ECMO, airway management in critical illness, graduate medical education, and coccidioidomycosis.






Ginny McBride is the executive director of OurLegacy, the OPO in east central Florida. Ginny entered the organ donation community of practice at the Gift of Life Donor Program in Philadelphia and, later, the Director of Recovery Services at Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency. Subsequently, Ginny was a public health analyst at the Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Transplantation (DoT) where she helped create the Breakthrough Collaborative Initiatives. Ginny also was the Project Officer for HRSA’s contract to operate the OPTN.Ginny is a graduate of the Lankenau Hospital School of Nursing in Philadelphia and the University of St. Francis. Her MPH is from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.




Molly McCarthy, Microsoft Director of Engineering and 3x kidney transplant recipient, grew up in NW Illinois and built her career on listening to customers and translating their business needs into Microsoft priorities and product functionality. Shaped by a small town upbringing and a diverse career across product engineering, marketing, recruiting and competitive intelligence, the common theme of her career has been representing and advocating for the customer point of view. Born with AR-PKD, she received her first kidney from her mother at the University of Iowa in 1991, followed by her second at the University of Wisconsin thanks to her father's donation in 2002. Molly had her 3rd kidney transplant from a deceased donor at the University of Washington in 2012. Molly serves in patient advisory and advocacy roles with UNOS, the AST and through organ donation and transplant education opportunities near her home in Seattle.



Dr. Sumit Mohan is an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University, New York and the director of clinical research for the division of nephrology. His clinical research is currently focused on improving access to care, reducing disparities and improving outcomes for patients with advanced kidney disease and kidney transplants. In particular, he is interested in efforts to improve organ utilization and understand the influence of regulation and quality measures on healthcare systems. He is also the founding Deputy Editor of Kidney International Reports.




Dr. Neehar Parikh, MD MS is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He is a transplant hepatologist and serves as the Medical Director of both the Living Donor Liver Transplantation Program and the Liver Tumor Program. His research focuses on the early detection of hepatobiliary malignancies and on transplant allocation and forecasting using modeling techniques.





Dr. Jignesh Patel, MD, PhD, FACC, FRCP is the Medical Director of the Heart Transplant Program and Director, Cardiac Amyloid Program at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai. He is Clinical Professor of Medicine. He earned his medical degree at the University of Cambridge. He completed training in cardiovascular diseases and earned his doctorate in vascular biology and physiology at UCLA. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of the UK. Dr. Patel has been the principal investigator or co-investigator of more than 25 research projects in areas related to heart failure, including cardiac amyloidosis and cardiac transplantation, and has published more than 70 peer reviewed articles.


Dr.Martha Pavlakis is the Medical Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at BIDMC and Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency at Tufts Medical Center and a renal and clinical investigation fellowships at Beth Israel Hospital before joining the faculty at Stanford Medical Center. She has directed the BIDMC one-year AST transplant fellowship since 2001 and is active in the AST where she serves as the chair of the Education Committee and is active in a number of the Communities of Practice (COP). She is also a leader in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and is currently the Vice chair of the UNOS Kidney Committee actively working on a new allocation algorithm to address geographic disparity in deceased donor kidney transplantation. Dr. Pavlakis is co-chair of the BIDMC Transplant Institute Quality Assurance and Process Improvement Committee. 



Dr. Peter Reese, MD, MSCE is an NIH-funded transplant nephrologist and epidemiologist. His research focuses on: a) developing effective strategies to increase access to kidney transplantation, b) improving the process of selecting and caring for living kidney donors, c) determining outcomes of health policies on vulnerable populations with renal disease, including the elderly, d) testing strategies to improve important health behaviors such as medication adherence, and e) transplant ethics.





Dr. Jorge Reyes is the Roger K Guisecke Distinguished Chair and Professor of Surgery and Chief of Transplantation of the University of Washington Medical Center and the Seattle Children's Hospital. His areas of clinical expertise and scholarly contributions include Pediatric Transplantation, Intestine Transplantation, Living donor and SPLIT Liver Transplantation, DCD Transplantation, Transplant Immunosuppression and minimization, and Tolerance. He has had important leadership roles locally, nationally, and internationally; his work in UNOS has focused on development of sharing and allocation paradigms for Liver and SPLIT Liver grafts, pediatric donors, and advocacy for pediatric recipients. The University of Washington is the oldest and largest Transplant Center in the Pacific Northwest providing transplantation of Lung, Heart, Liver, Pancreas, Kidney, and Intestine grafts. The Seattle Children's is the only Pediatric Transplant Center in the Pacific Northwest providing Heart, Liver, and Kidney Transplantation.



Dr. Jim Rodrigue is Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Professor of Surgery and Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. He is a transplant psychologist and a recipient of the AST’s Clinician of Distinction Award. He currently has five federally funded research grants on transplantation, organ donation, and disparities (NIH, PCORI, HRSA). He has published 200+ articles and lectures nationally and internationally. He has participated in numerous national and international consensus conferences focused on kidney exchange, transplant program quality and surveillance, the non-traditional living donor, living donor follow-up, transplant evaluation criteria, and pediatric deceased donation. He currently serves on the AST Board of Directors. He is an avid Boston sports fan, loves to golf, and enjoys traveling with his family. 



Dr. Kelly Schlendorf is Medical Director of Vanderbilt’s adult heart transplant program. In addition to her administrative roles within the transplant program, she is clinically active in caring for patients both pre- and post-transplant, and has led Vanderbilt’s work in pioneering the use of hearts from donors with hepatitis C.





Darren Stewart, Principal Research Scientist with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), has a passion for answering hard questions and solving real-world problems using analytical methods. He earned a master’s degree in statistics from North Carolina State University in 1998 and has over 20 years of experience as an applied statistician, the past 12 in organ transplantation and previously in the banking and aerospace industries. He has worked extensively in collaboration with OPTN committees and his current research interests include optimizing deceased donor kidney utilization; identifying ways to improve the organ allocation system; measuring equity in allocation; and applying behavioral science to aid transplant clinician decision-making as a UNOS Labs principal investigator. Mr. Stewart is the author of several publications in transplant journals and he has presented findings from numerous studies at transplant conferences. He hails from central Connecticut and now lives in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.


Dr. Stuart Sweet is medical director of the pediatric lung transplant program and the W. McKim Marriott MD Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He earned his medical degree and a PhD in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dr. Sweet is currently President of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation Board of Directors. He has also served as Board President of the Organ Procurement Transplant Network /United Network for Organ Sharing and the Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Dr. Sweet’s research interests include organ allocation, clinical outcomes in lung transplantation, the relationship between viruses and immunity in pediatric lung transplantation, and the role of information technology in medicine. He serves as the chair of the Steering Committee of the NIH Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation for Children Program (CTOT-C) Consortium. 



Nicole Turgeon, M.D., FACS, is a professor in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at the University of Texas Dell Seton Medical School. Turgeon is a kidney and pancreas transplant surgeon and serves as chief of abdominal transplant surgery at Dell Seton Medical Center.Turgeon’s academic interests include living kidney donation and paired kidney exchange; organ donation and utilization; adult and pediatric renal transplantation; and pancreatic transplantation. She has a strong commitment in serving and leading the transplant community through UNOS regional and national committee participation. She has been a member of the UNOS Kidney Committee since 2012 and served as chair from 2017-2019. She is currently serving as vice chair of the Policy Oversight Committee. Since 2005, Turgeon has been active in the AST and has participated in a number of leadership roles including service as a member of the board of directors from 2016 to 2019. 




Maryam Valapour, MD, MPP is Senior Investigator for Lung Transplantation, Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), where she oversees the analyses of U.S. lung transplant data and refinements of the U.S. lung allocation system. She is also Director of Lung Transplant Outcomes, Cleveland Clinic.Dr. Valapour’s primary research interests revolve around evaluating and revising the U.S. lung allocation system to improve outcomes of transplant candidates and recipients. She serves as principal investigator on a number of research grants addressing patient and system-level approaches to advance lung transplantation. She has research funding from the NIH, HRSA and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Dr. Valapour completed fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. This was followed by fellowship training in Bioethics and Health Policy at Berman Institute, Johns Hopkins University and earned a Master of Public Policy from Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota.


Dr. David Vega is Director of Heart Transplantation and MCS at Emory University Hospital and Professor of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Vega received his MD degree from University of Michigan. He completed training in General Surgery at University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Texas Heart Institute, and fellowship in Heart/Lung Transplantation at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He joined the faculty at Emory in 1996. Dr. Vega’s research interest include organ preservation, immunosuppression, heart transplantation, and MCS. He has served on several UNOS committees including MPSC, Policy Oversight, and Thoracic Transplantation both as vice-chair and chair. He served on the Advisory Council for Organ Transplantation, Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Vega served on the Board of Directors for UNOS and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. He is Associate Editor for the American Journal of Transplantation.




Dr. Elizabeth Verna is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation and Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases at Columbia University, where she practices as transplant hepatologist. In addition, Dr. Verna has an active clinical research program in end-stage liver disease and liver transplantation and is the Director of Clinical Research for the Columbia University Transplant Clinical Research Center.





Keith Wille, MD is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Wille completed fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UAB and joined the faculty thereafter. His clinical interests are in cardiothoracic transplantation, extracorporeal support technologies, and critical care medicine. He received an MSPH degree in clinical epidemiology from the UAB School of Public Health in 2013 and is pursuing additional graduate training in Healthcare Quality and Safety. His research interests include the application and outcomes of extracorporeal life support, outcomes following transplantation, and methods for optimizing ICU healthcare delivery. He is Medical Director of the Adult ECMO and Advanced Lung Diseases Program and currently also serves as Medical Director of the Lung Transplant Program.



Dr. Alexander Wiseman, MD, FAST is the Executive Director of Kidney Transplantation at the Centura Transplant Institute in Denver Colorado. He completed both his undergraduate and medical school training at Washington University in St. Louis, followed by residency training in Internal Medicine at University of California, San Francisco and completed his nephrology and transplant nephrology fellowships at University of Colorado. His was previously a Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado where he was a faculty member for 19 years, and was the Medical Director for Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation Programs from 2008-2019.
Dr. Wiseman’s interests include access to transplantation, organ allocation and utilization, novel immunosuppressive strategies, and transplant therapies for diabetes. He has served as Chair for a number of ASN and AST supported meetings, has given over 200 invited lectures nationally and internationally, and is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Transplantation.