Dr. Robert A. Montgomery Receives the NKF’s Prestigious Excellence in Transplantation Award

SCM24 Pic Robert Montgomery5

(April 18, 2024, New York, NY) — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) proudly announces that Robert A. Montgomery, MD, DPhil, FACS, is the 2024 recipient of the prestigious Excellence in Transplantation Award. Currently, Dr. Montgomery is the H. Leon Pachter Chairman and Professor of Surgery at New York University (NYU) Langone Health and the Director of the NYU Transplant Institute. This award will be presented to Dr. Montgomery at the annual NKF 2024 Spring Clinical Meetings (SCM) in Long Beach, CA, in May.

            Dr. Montgomery earned his Doctor of Medicine with Honor from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and his Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Immunology from Balliol College, The University of Oxford, England. He completed his general surgical training, multi-organ transplantation fellowship, and postdoctoral fellowship in Human Molecular Genetics at Johns Hopkins, where he later served as the Chief of Transplant Surgery and the Director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center.

            "It is a tremendous honor to receive this award from a patient-based organization like the National Kidney Foundation," said Dr. Montgomery. "As a transplant surgeon and heart transplant recipient, I have walked in the shoes of those patients and know the challenges they face and the hopes they hold for a better future. I am deeply committed to improving outcomes for kidney patients and addressing the critical shortage of organs. I am so grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the NKF's mission and to continue advocating for advancements in transplantation."

            Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Montgomery has been at the forefront of groundbreaking innovations in transplantation surgery. He played a pivotal role in developing the laparoscopic procedure for live kidney donation, which has become a global standard. Additionally, he spearheaded the conception and execution of the domino paired donation (kidney swaps), the Hopkins protocol for desensitization of incompatible kidney transplant patients, and performed the first chain of transplants started by an altruistic donor. He led the team that performed the first 2-way domino paired donation, 3-way paired donation, 3-way domino paired donation, and 8-way multi-institutional domino paired donation and co-led the first 10-way open chain. He is credited in the 2010 Guinness Book of World Records with the most kidney transplants performed in one day.  In 2021, he led the team at NYU Langone that performed the first successful gene-edited pig-to-human kidney xenotransplant in the world.

            Dr. Montgomery's pioneering research and clinical expertise have been widely recognized and supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has authored over 300 peer-reviewed articles and been cited more than 34,000 times. He is considered a world expert on kidney transplantation for highly sensitized and ABO-incompatible patients and is referred the most complex patients from around the globe.

            He received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Fulbright Scholarship, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, and memberships in the Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha academic honor societies. Notably, he received the Champion of Hope Award from the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland and the Terasaki Medical Innovation Award from the National Kidney Registry. Newsweek Magazine featured him as one of America’s Greatest Disruptors in December 2021. He received the Order of Merit (Ukraine) awarded by Volodymyr Zelenskyy on September 21, 2023 at the National Archives in Washington for his surgical care of Ukrainian patients during the war. 

            In addition to his professional achievements, Dr. Montgomery is renowned for his advocacy on behalf of transplant patients and his commitment to addressing the organ shortage crisis. As a heart transplant recipient himself, he brings a unique perspective to his work and is a passionate advocate for increasing organ donation and advancing xenotransplantation research.

            "We are honored to recognize Dr. Robert A. Montgomery with the prestigious Excellence in Transplantation Award," said NKF President Sylvia Rosas, MD, MSCE. "His groundbreaking contributions to the field of transplantation have saved countless lives but have also provided not only innovation but hope. Dr. Montgomery's unwavering dedication to improving patient outcomes and addressing the organ shortage crisis embodies the spirit of excellence and compassion that defines the National Kidney Foundation's mission. Every interested kidney failure patient should have timely access to transplantation. Xenotransplantation provides the possibility of supplying organs to those who need them. His contributions have had a profound impact on the field of transplantation and have paved the way for future advancements in kidney care."

             Dr. Montgomery stated, “The biggest challenge facing us is the inadequate supply of organs resulting in thousands of patients each year not having the opportunity to enjoy longer and better lives associated with receiving a transplant. The only way to end this crisis is to create a sustainable, unlimited supply of organs. Xenotransplantation is the most promising source of new organs that could end the organ shortage. We can’t waste any more time or lives waiting.”

            The annual NKF 2024 Spring Clinical Meetings (SCM) will be held in Long Beach, CA from May 14 – 18.

NKF Spring Clinical Meetings

For the past 32 years, nephrology healthcare professionals from across the country have come to NKF’s Spring Clinical Meetings to learn about the newest developments related to all aspects of nephrology practice; network with colleagues; and present their research findings. The NKF Spring Clinical Meetings is designed for meaningful change in the multidisciplinary healthcare teams’ skills, performance, and patient health outcomes. It is the only conference of its kind that focuses on translating science into practice for the entire healthcare team. 

About Kidney Disease

In the United States, more than 37 million adults are estimated to have kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD)—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it. About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabeteshigh blood pressureheart diseaseobesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. Black or African American people are about four times as likely as White people to have kidney failure. Hispanics experience kidney failure at about double the rate of White people.

NKF Professional Membership

Healthcare professionals can join NKF to receive access to tools and resources for both patients and professionals, discounts on professional education, and access to a network of thousands of individuals who treat patients with kidney disease. 

About the National Kidney Foundation

The National Kidney Foundation is revolutionizing the fight to save lives by eliminating preventable kidney disease, accelerating innovation for the dignity of the patient experience, and dismantling structural inequities in kidney care, dialysis, and transplantation. For more information about kidney disease, please visit www.kidney.org/