Dr. Ken Newell Named President of the American Society of Transplantation

September 2014

Emory kidney and pancreas transplant surgeon Dr. Kenneth Newell is now president of the American Society of Transplantation (AST), a post he will serve for one year. He was president-elect of the AST for one year prior and councillor-at-large for two years.

Dr. Newell joined the faculty of the Emory University School of Medicine in 2001. Prior to Emory he had been at the University of Chicago, where he had served as an assistant professor of surgery since 1994 and was director of kidney and pancreas transplantation from 2000-2001. He earned a PhD in immunology and did a fellowship in abdominal transplantation at the institution. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed his general surgery residency at Loyola Medical Center in Illinois.

At Emory, Dr. Newell established the unrelated paired donor kidney exchange program in 2007 and served as director of the living donor kidney transplant program until stepping down in 2014 so he could spend more time tending to his national responsibilities.

Currently, Dr. Newell chairs the mechanistic assays subcommittee of the NIH Clinical Trials In Organ Transplantation consortium. He directs the Emory component of a multicenter trial in the Immune Tolerance Network of the NIAID that is studying kidney transplant recipients who were able to stop taking immunosuppressive drugs without serious effects, the results of which were published in 2010 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He and his colleagues identified a pattern of genes in the occasional kidney transplant recipient that switches on in their white blood cells. Since this pattern eventually may be used to help identify other transplant recipients who could reduce or completely taper their immunosuppressive therapy, Dr. Newell is conducting additional studies and compiling a patient registry.