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Departments / Surgery / Divisions / Transplantation

Section of Transplantation

The section of transplantation provides liver, kidney, and pancreas transplantation, as well as a variety of non-transplant surgical services. Our surgeons have special expertise in laparoscopic nephrectomy, laparoscopic and open hepatobiliary surgery, immunosuppressive drug development, corticosteroid elimination, robotic-assisted surgery, dialysis access surgery, and active kidney exchange programs. The section performs over 220 kidney transplants and approximately 135 liver transplants per year.

Dr. Cuffy operating

Beyond an active clinic program, the section has active research programs in many diverse areas. The Cincinnati Research in Outcomes and Safety in Surgery (CROSS) was established in 2012 and has studied disparities in care, utilization and practice paradigms in tertiary surgery and comparative effectiveness. The group also has an active and large program around metabolic surgery in end organ failure and has published landmark results in this area, providing access to obese patients needing transplantation. 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. Our research program has also successfully conducted the first multicenter trial of steroid and calcineurin inhibitor free immunosuppression (BEST Trial).  New research programs in education and transplant coordination have also begun in the section.

The section provides leadership to the Israel Penn Center for Transplant Oncology, 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.

Transplant surgery

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. The section has published the largest series of HCV positive transplants in seronegative recipients in the world.  The group also conducts extensive research into education, transplant competency and evaluation.  A living donor liver transplant program has been established as well this year.  In 2019, we performed the first hypothermic machine portable perfusion of a donated liver in the US.  We also have extensive transplant oncology protocols and have performed transplants for colorectal metastases, cholangiocarcinoma and neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Silski in clinic

Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation

The section has grown by 10% in the last two years and continues to innovate with living donor nephrectomies, immunosuppressive drug development, and use of HCV positive transplants in seronegative patients. Simultaneous kidney-pancreas, pancreas after kidney, and solitary pancreas transplants are performed by section faculty. 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.

Transplant faculty and staff in OR


  • Alex L. Chang, MD
  • Madison Cuffy, MD, MBA
  • R. Cutler Quillin, III, MD
  • Shimul A. Shah, MD, MHCM (Chief)
  • Adele Rike Shields, PharmD
  • Latifa A. Sage Silski, MD
  • Nicole S. Ejaz, PharmD
  • Simon Tremblay, PharmD, PhD
  • E. Steve Woodle, MD
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University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0558

Mail Location: 0558
Phone: 513-558-4748