Organ transplant pioneer Robert Montgomery, MD, to receive Genius Award at LSC

LSC News

Liberty Science Center’s Genius Gala 10, an annual celebration of science and creativity, will take place on May 2, 2022!

One of our honorees this year is organ transplant pioneer Robert Montgomery, MD, PhD. Montgomery is the only practicing surgeon who is the recipient of a heart transplant. His grit, his empathy, and his personal health odyssey are as extraordinary as his medical accomplishments.

Dr. Montgomery is the pioneer of the laparoscopic procedure for live kidney donation that has become the standard throughout the world. In 2010, Montgomery set the Guinness World Record for the most kidney transplants performed in a single day—ten!

Montgomery inherited a form of cardiomyopathy whose effects had caused both his father and older brother to die early of cardiac arrest. He had cardiac defibrillators starting at the age of 29 that saved his life many times over the next three decades. He collapsed while hiking in the Andes, attending a medical conference in Italy, and watching “School of Rock” on Broadway. Eventually, Montgomery received the heart of a heroin user who had died of an overdose and had hepatitis C, which Montgomery contracted and took oral medication to cure. He was the 17th patient at NYU to receive a hepatitis C-positive heart, a practice he had been advocating as a physician to ease the organ donor shortage and salvage some good from the opioid crisis.

In September 2021, Montgomery made medical history and international news by performing a pig-to-human kidney transplant using a pig that had been genetically modified so that the kidney would not be rejected. The pig came from Revivicor, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics, a biotech company founded by Martine Rothblatt, a 2019 Genius Award winner.

Dr. Montgomery is now the H. Leon Pachter, MD Professor of Surgery; the Chair of the Department of Surgery at NYU Langone Health; and Director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute.

We can't wait for him to join us! Click here to learn more about our 10th anniversary of the Genius Gala.

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