Transplant Surgery

The fellow will train on the clinical transplant surgery service at the University of Chicago Medical Center, led by John Fung, MD, under the daily supervision of full-time faculty members. The fellowship program is divided into liver, kidney and pancreas components. All aspects of the training program are completed at the University of Chicago Medicine in Hyde Park. This centralization provides tremendous advantages, including the management of patients and close proximity to transplant research laboratories and campus library facilities.

In the operating room, the fellow rapidly progresses through the stages of first assistant to operating surgeon during each phase of the fellowship. During the first year, the fellow learns the techniques of multiorgan procurement; implantation and back table preparation of the kidney, pancreas, and liver graft; and laparoscopic liver donor nephrectomy. In the second year, this is expanded to include implantation of the liver and hepato-biliary surgery. Each fellow will have the chance to be involved in at least 60 kidney transplants, 10 pancreas transplants, 25 multi-organ cadaveric procurements, and 25 liver transplants.

The fellow attends the respective weekly patient management conferences, which provide a forum of interactive discussion and learning. Weekly transplant conferences are facilitated by one of the attending physicians and the topics include immunology, pathology, donor evaluation reviews, and a section M&M. The fellow attends all sessions, and is encouraged to attend national transplant conferences and fellow symposia.

The ultimate objective of this fellowship is to create future leaders in the field of end-stage organ surgery and transplantation. At the completion of the program, the fellow will have the technical skills necessary to excel as a surgeon, receive enough education to pass board exams without difficulty, and participate in research activity that will lead to an academic career in transplant surgery.

Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program
Dr. Yolanda Becker, Director

During the first year of training, the fellow will be dedicated to kidney, kidney/pancreas, pancreas, vascular access, multi-organ cadaveric procurement, and living donor nephrectomy. The fellow will develop proficiency in the surgical and medical management of patients with end-stage renal disease who are amenable to transplantation.

Liver Transplant Program
Dr. Talia Baker, Director
Dr. Diego M. Di Sabato

The fellow will be dedicated to liver transplantation, liver resections, multi-organ cadaveric procurement, and living donor hepatectomy. The fellow will also develop proficiency in the surgical and medical management of patients with end-stage liver disease who are transplantable.

The fellow will have active participation in the pre- and post-transplant clinics, acquiring complete knowledge of the evaluation process (indications for transplantation) and post-operative care of the transplant recipient. The fellow is involved in the care of the patient before, during and after their transplant hospitalization. As leader of the house staff, the fellow reports to and communicates with the attending on service. When patients require transfer to the Intensive Care Unit, the fellow actively participates in the management of medical and surgical services.

Pancreatic Islet Transplantation Program
Piotr Witkowski, MD, PhD, Director

During the first and second years of training, the fellow will be exposed to pancreatic islet allo-transplantation in patients with T1DM as well as to total pancreatctomy with islet auto-transplantation in patients with chronic pancreatitis and intractable pain. The fellow will learn deceased donor pancreas procurement for whole pancreas transplantation and for clinical islet isolation.

In addition, the fellow will have active participation in the pre- and post-transplant clinics, acquiring complete knowledge of the evaluation process (indications for transplantation) and post-operative care of the transplant recipient. The fellow is involved in the care of the patient before, during, and after their transplant hospitalization. As leader of the house staff, the fellow reports to and communicates with the attending on service. When patients require transfer to the Intensive Care Unit, the fellow actively participates in the management of medical and surgical services.

Current ASTS Fellows
2017- 2019: Angelica Perez Gutierrez, MD
2018- 2020: Ragheed Saoud, MD
2019-2021: Branden Juengel, MD