April 16, 2024

Peter Reese named to lead newly created Vanderbilt Center for Transplant Science

Peter Reese, MD, PhD, has been named the inaugural director of the Vanderbilt Center for Transplant Science.

Peter Reese, MD, PhD Peter Reese, MD, PhD

Peter Reese, MD, PhD, has been named the inaugural director of the Vanderbilt Center for Transplant Science. Reese, professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, is a board-certified transplant nephrologist and epidemiologist. Reese’s appointment at VUMC is effective Sept. 1.

The Vanderbilt Center for Transplant Science is being created to save the lives of patients waiting for a transplant and improve the outcomes for patients after they receive a transplant, said Seth Karp, MD, H. William Scott Jr. Professor and chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences. The center has transdisciplinary support from the Department of Medicine, Section of Surgical Sciences, Department of Biostatistics, Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Pediatrics.

“The center will serve as a bridge between our large clinical volumes and the outstanding community of researchers and resources here to improve the care of patients with organ failure,” Karp said. “We envision the center will use our expertise in personalized medicine, genetics, genomics, clinical trials, organ rehabilitation, data science, translational and basic science to produce approaches, diagnostics and therapies for patients here and across the world. Vanderbilt is uniquely positioned to make a lasting impact to benefit patients.”

The founding of the center reflects Vanderbilt’s goal of bringing together the institution’s major scientific strengths — including cutting-edge immunology, informatics and organ preservation technology — to solve the biggest problems facing transplantation, Reese said.

“With this investment in the new center, Vanderbilt will be well-positioned to tackle transplant’s challenges, which include a limited supply of donated organs and the burdens of post-transplant immunosuppression that lead to devastating infections, cancer and heart disease,” he said. “The center will be the go-to destination on campus for advancing basic, translational and clinical science in transplant, as well as a magnet to attract collaboration with leading scientists from across the country.”

Reese’s achievements include leading pioneering trials to successfully transplant organs from deceased donors with hepatitis C virus. He has also made important contributions to improving the efficiency and equity of the nation’s system of organ allocation. He chaired the Ethics Committee for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which oversees organ allocation and transplant regulation in the U.S. He is committed to training the next generation of investigators focused on advancing care for patients who need a transplant.

Reese received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Princeton University and a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a renal fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He then completed a transplant nephrology fellowship and joined the faculty in the Renal-Electrolyte & Hypertension Division at the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition, Reese holds a Master of Science in Epidemiology degree from University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Epidemiology from L’Université de Paris.

For his contributions to transplant research, Reese received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2012. “PECASE recognizes and supports scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge” according to the White House. He has been honored by selection as a Greenwall Scholar in bioethics and with a Distinguished Research Award from the American Society of Nephrology. He was also elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation.

“Peter is richly qualified to take the helm of the Vanderbilt Center for Transplant Science,” said Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, VUMC chief scientific and strategy officer. “The Vanderbilt Transplant Center has long been a national leader in transplant research, leading to excellent clinical outcomes for the growing number of patients we serve. Peter and the center will further catalyze our collaborative process, positioning us well for the future of transplant.”