Today is Saturday, Jul. 4, 2020

Department of


Section of Transplantation

The section of transplantation provides kidney, pancreas and liver transplantation, as well as a variety of non-transplant surgical services. Our surgeons have special expertise in laparoscopic nephrectomy, immunosuppressive drug development, corticosteroid elimination, laparoscopic liver surgery, robotic-assisted surgery, dialysis access research, and the development of kidney exchange programs. The section performs over 150 kidney transplants and approximately 70 liver transplants per year.

The section provides leadership to the Israel Penn Center for Transplant Oncology (IPCTO), the largest and most comprehensive transplant tumor registry in the world, and has made a permanent commitment to preserve the function of the IPCTO by hiring and supporting faculty whose academic careers support IPCTO-related objectives.

The section has a very active research program that has pioneered the use of plasma cell targeted therapy for desensitization in highly sensitized transplant recipients and for the treatment of antibody mediated rejection, and is currently conducting a second generation trial using combination therapies based on proteasome inhibition. Our research program has also successfully conducted the first multicenter trial of steroid and calcineurin inhibitor free immunosuppression (BEST Trial). Our research programs also have vibrant basic and translational research collaborations in plasma cell biology and also in T cell biology, with an emphasis on memory T cell biology.

Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation

The section has performed more than 800 laparoscopic living donor nephrectomies and performs 100% of living-donor nephrectomies laparoscopically. Simultaneous kidney-pancreas, pancreas after kidney, and solitary pancreas transplants are performed by section faculty.

The section has developed clinical and research programs in transplant metabolic surgery that have led to the elimination of obesity as a barrier for kidney transplantation. The section has also developed a world-class immunosuppressive drug development program as well as clinical trials in the kidney, islet cell and pancreas transplant programs. Funded studies include several large multicenter trials with the University of Cincinnati as the flagship center. The section has also developed a dedicated Sensitized Patient Clinic for potential kidney transplant patients who are highly sensitized to HLA antigens. This is one of a very small number of such dedicated clinics in the United States and offers kidney exchange as both clinical and research based desensitization.

Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery

The section has excelled in the area of surgery for benign and malignant tumors of the pancreas, liver and biliary tree, having performed over 1,000 advanced hepatobiliary surgical procedures. The section is a world leader in experience performing laparoscopic liver resections and has hosted several training courses. The Liver Transplant Program provides multidisciplinary, specialized patient-centered care for end-stage liver disease (ESLD). Our historic program has focused on innovation, expert clinical care and research over the past 20 years.

The section recently developed a program in transplant outcomes research. A number of research projects are currently ongoing, including a study of utilization and cost effectiveness in liver transplantation and an innovative program in telehealth and smart technology.


Madison Cuffy, MD, MBA
Tayyab Diwan, MD
Alin L. Girnita, MD, D-ABHI
Rino Munda, MD
Flavio Paterno, MD
Shimul A. Shah, MD, MHCM (Chief)
Adele Rike Shields, PharmD
Simon Tremblay, PharmD, PhD candidate
E. Steve Woodle, MD
Transplant surgeons with visiting professor
Section Chief
Shimul A. Shah, MD, MHCM
Professor of Surgery
James and Catherine Orr Endowed Chair in Liver Transplantation
Chief, Section of Solid Organ Transplantation, Department of Surgery

E. Steve Woodle, MD
Professor of Surgery
William A. Altemeier Chair in Surgery
Director, Solid Organ Transplantation, UC Health
Director, Israel Penn Center for Transplant Oncology