National Leader in Transplant Surgery Care Tapped as the New Director of UH Transplant Institute

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CLEVELAND – University Hospitals has announced Zoe Stewart Lewis, MD, PhD, MPH, as the new Director of the UH Transplant Institute and Chief of the Division of Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery in the Department of Surgery.

“Dr. Stewart is a leader in transplant surgery patient outcomes as well as a groundbreaking researcher,” said Joseph F. Sabik III, MD, Chair, Department of Surgery. “She is an outstanding addition to our transplant program and will help us continue to achieve excellence and pursue our goal of Zero Harm".

An abdominal transplant and hepatobiliary surgeon at NYU Langone Hospital in New York, Dr. Stewart has served as NYU Transplant Institute’s Director of Quality as well as the Surgical Director for Kidney and Pancreas Transplant.

She also launched successful programs for pancreas and pediatric kidney transplantation at NYU. Under her leadership, NYU’s kidney transplant program grew to the largest in the state of New York with nationally recognized outcomes. In 2022, the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients ranked NYU’s kidney transplant program No.1 in the country out of 256 programs for patient outcomes.

A teacher and mentor throughout her two-decade medical career, Dr. Stewart has been an invited speaker at multiple transplant symposiums. She has developed training materials used nationally for general surgery residents (the SCORE curriculum) and transplant fellows (ASTS Academic Universe). She has also trained transplant specialty care providers at both the national and local level through numerous invited lectures, podcasts and webinars. She is actively involved in mentoring medical students, surgery residents and transplant surgery fellows in research programs, resulting in nearly 100 peer-reviewed publications and national abstracts, as well as numerous oral and poster presentations for her mentees. At NYU, Dr. Stewart participated in numerous clinical trials in novel kidney transplant therapeutics and was co-surgeon on the world’s first two pig-to-human kidney xenotransplants.

Dr. Stewart has held several leadership positions within transplant professional societies. Notably, she has continuously been an active member of Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) committees since 2009. She currently serves as the Chair of OPTN Membership and Professional Standards Committee (MPSC), which is tasked, with reviewing events that present a risk to patient safety, public health, or the integrity of the US transplant system. The MPSC also identifies opportunities for transplant community education and develops bylaws and policies to maximize organ supply and provide equitable access to transplantation.

Dr. Stewart received her medical degree and a PhD in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University, and also earned an MPH in Quantitative Methods from the University of Iowa. She attended Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for both her general surgery residency and her fellowship in abdominal transplant surgery. She has held faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the University of Iowa School of Medicine. Dr. Stewart excelled during her surgical training, receiving the H. William Scott, Jr. Prize in Surgery from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the John L. Cameron Award for Technical Excellence in Surgery from Johns Hopkins Hospital.

"It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to lead the exceptional group of transplant professionals at University Hospitals. I look forward to the challenge of building upon the Transplant Institute’s prior accomplishments to meet our goal of providing world-class, patient-centered transplant care to the Cleveland community,” said Dr. Stewart.

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