2021 ASTS Recognition Award Recipients

Francis Moore Excellence in Mentorship in the Field of Transplantation Surgery Award

* Supported by Veloxis Pharmaceuticals

picture2Gaetano Ciancio, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.S. 
University of Miami

Dr. Ciancio is a tenured Professor of Surgery and Urology at the University of Miami, Department of Urology and the Division of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Urology, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of several professional organizations including the Society of University Surgeons, the American Urological Association, The Transplantation Society, the Urologic Society for Transplantation and Vascular Surgery, the Southeastern Section of the American Urological Association, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the Society of Laparoendoscopic & Robotic Surgeons.

Dr. Ciancio has completed his General Surgery and Urology residency, as well as a Multi-Organ Transplant fellowship at Jackson Memorial Hospital and has remained on faculty since then. For years his dedication has been recognized with multiple teaching awards in both urology and transplantation.  Within the Department of Urology, has received the Award of Excellence as “Attending of the Year” from 1998-1999 and 2002-2003.  This was granted due to his outstanding dedication and commitment to his patients, colleagues and the residents.  He was also graced with the “Teacher of the Year” multiples times in 2005, 2011, 2013.  In 2012, he received the Urology Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2015 he was honored with the highest Urology distinction, the Charles Lynne Urology Teacher Award. He also has been bestowed the Dean’s Senior Faculty Clinical Research Award in 1999 and was the first recipient ever to receive the UMMG Faculty Hero Award in 2011.  For his transplant endeavors, he has been recognized with the Teacher of the Year Award at the Miami Transplant Institute both in 2015 and 2016.  In 2017, he received The Faculty Senate of the University of Miami Outstanding Teaching Award.  His recognition is not only noted here at the University of Miami but at an international level where he has received various awards including the Honorary Citizen, National Award, Commune di Roccapiemonte in Salerno, Italy 2000, the Honor and Merit Award by the Haiti Transplant Foundation in 2009, and Award of support in the field of transplantation by the Argentinian Minister of Health in 2018. In addition, Dr. Ciancio has received a special recognition for his contributions in health care to the African American community in this country, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Spirit Award. He was the recipient of the University of Miami Scholarship for the MBA program, finishing his executive MBA in 2001 with specialization in health administration. He was awarded the Best doctor in America 2005-2006, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, and selected by the Castle Cannolly Medical Ltd Top Doctor in Urology 2011, 2014. Also, he received the Miracle Maker award by the Transplant Foundation in 1997 and That’s Life VI Gala Honoree “in recognition of extraordinary generosity and tireless dedication in support of organ donation and transplantation” in 2001. He was included in the book of “The Italians of America, “A tribute to America’s most significant Italians” in 1999. In 2019 he was accepted in the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the highest honor attained at the University of Miami. Just recently in 2020, he was awarded one of Italy’s highest honors: Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy (Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia) conferred by the President of the Republic of Italy Sergio Mattarella.

He is the author and co-author of 2 books, 30 book chapters and over 388 articles published in medical journals for topics involving the field of solid organ transplantation and urologic oncology. 


ASTS Pipeline Award

* Supported by Veloxis Pharmaceuticals

Michael EnglesbeMichael J. Englesbe, MD, FACS
University of Michigan

Michael Englesbe, MD, FACS, does abdominal transplant surgery and is the Cyrenus G. Darling Sr., MD, and Cyrenus G. Darling Jr., MD, Professor of Surgery at the University of Michigan. He obtained his undergraduate degree at Yale University in 1993 and his medical degree from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 1997. He then did a surgical research post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle and completed his general surgery residency at the University of Michigan Health System in 2004. Dr. Englesbe specializes in kidney and liver transplantation in adults and children and has a specific expertise in portal hypertension in children and adults. His goal is to improve care within the state of Michigan for all citizens. His favorite part of his job is working with trainees on this ambitious goal.

ASTS Rising Stars in Transplantation Surgery Award

* Supported by Veloxis Pharmaceuticals

KROEMER alex2_WELLERAlexander H.K. Kroemer, MD, PhD
MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute

Dr. Alexander H.K. Kroemer is a Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgeon at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute and the Scientific Director of the Center for Translational Transplant Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center. In this dually appointed role, Dr. Kroemer splits his time between performing liver, intestine, and other abdominal transplants in both adult and pediatric patients, as well as conducting basic and translational research on immunology in transplantation and oncology. He is an NIH-funded investigator and ad hoc study section member, as well as an active member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, where he serves on the Grants Committee. He regularly publishes in the top journals of his field and serves as an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Transplantation. Dr. Kroemer’s training includes a Fellowship in Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, a postdoctoral fellowship at The Transplant Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, and surgical residency at University Hospital Regensburg, Germany. 

Black Sylvester  MD PhD Portrait 12.12.19 (save for PR purposes)Sylvester M. Black, MD, PhD
Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University

Sylvester M. Black, MD, PhD, joined the Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University on July 1, 2012. Dr. Black is currently an Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery.
Dr. Black earned his bachelor's degree from Hampton University in 1997 and his medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg College of Medicine in 2001. He then completed a general surgery residency at the University of Minnesota in 2010. While at the University of Minnesota, he also earned a PhD in the transplant immunology laboratory of Dr. Agustin Dalmasso, where he studied vascular endothelial cell interactions with the complement system during acute vascular rejection. Dr. Black then completed his hepatobiliary surgery and abdominal transplantation training at the University of Toronto in 2012.
Dr. Black's clinical interests lie in complex hepatobiliary surgery for benign and malignant conditions and adult and pediatric liver transplantation. He directs the living donor liver transplant program at The Ohio State University and is the co-director of The Collaboration for Organ Perfusion, Protection, Engineering, and Regeneration (COPPER) Laboratory. The laboratory uses Normothermic Ex-vivo Organ Perfusion (NEVOP) as a platform for potential assessment and repair of suboptimal donor organs. NEVOP creates a stable platform whereby donor organs can be supported for prolonged periods outside the body of the donor, allowing for assessment of function and providing a method to administer therapeutic interventions, potentially salvaging non-suitable organs.
Dr. Black's research accomplishments include being the principal investigator of an NIH R01 with a 3.1-million-dollar budget to explore and develop the use of a muscle-derived protein MG53 to repair DCD donor livers prior to transplantation. This protein acts as a molecular bandage for cell membrane breaks and the prevention of necrosis. Dr. Black was also awarded an Ohio Third Frontier Accelerator Award to continue to develop and bring a novel, cell-specific nanoparticle that inhibits the CD38 pathway from bench to bedside to repair injured donor organs prior to transplantation. This pathway is important in inflammation, calcium metabolism, and reactive oxygen species generation and is a relatively unexplored pathway for clinical application. The technology around this nanoparticle has been submitted for patent protection to the U.S. Patent Office. This therapy will help to enable the rescuing of donor organs currently considered unsuitable for transplantation, thereby increasing access to transplantation through the expansion of the donor pool.

ASTS Vanguard Prize

* Supported by Veloxis Pharmaceuticals

172616_barbas001Andrew S. Barbas, MD
Duke University

Dr. Barbas is a transplant and hepatobiliary surgeon at Duke University and the Durham VA hospital. He obtained his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in 2007 and completed a general surgery residency at Duke University Medical Center in 2014. He then completed a fellowship in Abdominal Transplant and Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery at the University of Toronto in 2016. His research interests include ex-vivo organ perfusion and clinical outcomes in abdominal transplantation. 

JGW_JHU_headshotJacqueline Garonzik Wang, MD, PhD
Johns Hopkins

Jacqueline Garonzik Wang, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Division of Transplant Surgery. She was born and raised in Baltimore and completed her undergraduate studies in Public Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. She obtained her medical degree at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, and then returned to Baltimore to complete her general surgery training as a Halsted Resident at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. During her dedicated academic time in residency, she obtained a PhD in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed her fellowship in Abdominal Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and then joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2016. Her areas of clinical expertise include liver, pancreas, and kidney transplantation and living donation. Dr. Garonzik Wang has contributed to numerous publications and national presentations. Her research interests include exploring and developing methods to increase living donation, utilizing large healthcare datasets to improve access to transplantation and post-transplant outcomes, and increasing deceased donor transplant rates by safely expanding organ acceptance criteria. Additionally, Dr. Garonzik Wang serves as the Program Director for the Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship and the Director of Training and Education for the Johns Hopkins Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation.

ASTS Advanced Transplant Provider Award

* Supported by Veloxis Pharmaceuticals

Corrie Berk HeadshotCorrie Berk, DNP, MBA, APRN, FNP-BC
Loma Linda University

Dr. Berk is a Clinical Director of the Las Vegas Campus Transplant Institute of Loma Linda University. She received her DNP from University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing and her MBA in Healthcare from Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz School of Business. After a decade of experience in transplantation at UPMC, she now runs southern Nevada’s only permanent hepatology and liver transplant clinic. She oversees all day-to-day operations of the clinic as well as the medical management of patients both pre- and post-transplant. Under her direction, the satellite clinic is on track for 40 liver transplants this year. In addition to increasing access to transplantation, she works relentlessly to educate the Las Vegas medical community on liver transplantation, and serves as Treasurer for the Las Vegas Liver Foundation, which serves liver transplant patients with financial need. She is an active member of the Las Vegas chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives as well as national professional societies such as American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Gastroenterology & Hepatology Advanced Practice Providers, and American Society of Transplant Surgeons. She is also a recipient of the AASLD's 2019 Mid-Career Hepatology Associate Scholar Award. But most importantly, she has touched the lives of countless patients with liver disease. 


ASTS Sherilyn Gordon Memorial Travel Award  

Santos-Parker, JessicaJessica Santos-Parker, PhD
University of Michigan

Dr. Parker is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Michigan applying into General Surgery who aspires to increase equitable access to surgery for patients and trainees. Jessica has a Ph.D. in Integrative Physiology from CU Boulder and has been working to increase underrepresented minority representation in academia and surgery throughout her doctoral and medical training. As a student director of Michigan’s medical student surgery interest group, she has helped create multiple research mentoring programs and her current research includes workforce diversity and increasing access to transplantation.



THE Ohio State University

Dr. Han is a general surgery resident at The Ohio State University. Her interest in transplantation began as an undergraduate at Northwestern University, with research experiences studying gene therapy targets for type 1 diabetes, as well as clinical research on post-transplant immunologic profiles. She subsequently earned her medical degree at Duke University, during which she conducted clinical research in pain/surgical outcomes and basic science research in the use of CRISPR technology for the treatment of neuropathic pain. As a general surgery resident, Dr Han is currently an NIH T32 trainee and completing her PhD studies in Immunology under the direction of Dr Ginny Bumgardner. Her research area is in humoral alloimmunity, the mechanisms behind antibody mediated injury and its impact on allograft function and survival, and potential novel immunotherapies. For her current studies, she has received the OSU University Fellowship award and Young Investigator Travel Awards from the American Association of Immunology and ATC 2020. She intends to pursue an abdominal transplant fellowship upon completion of residency in 2025.

agudelo_eliana_pictureEliana Z. Agudelo PA-C
University of California, San Francisco

Eliana Z. Agudelo PA-C has worked at Transplant Hepatology and Liver Transplant at UCSF for 16 years.  She is currently a post liver transplant provider and have been in this role over 12 years. Her patient population consists of post liver transplant patients, including LDLT and SLK patients.

As an Outpatient Liver Transplant PA she is responsible for the care of liver transplant patients starting at the time of discharge.   She also participates in outreach clinics which allows for bringing care and education to locations that are hours away from the medical center.
As part of her position, she contributes in the development of policies, procedures, and protocols and participate in continual quality improvement.  

In Liver Transplant at UCSF, she works with 10 surgeons and collaborate with 9 transplant hepatologists. There are currently 14 APPs in the Division of Liver Transplant (pediatric, inpatient, outpatient and pre-LT).

She finds it gratifying to be part of an extraordinary inter-professional and interdisciplinary team and an honor to work with patients and know them for over a decade.

Her professional activities include ASTS ATP committee member since 2015 and currently Chair since 7/2020. She is also chair of the UCSF APP Onboarding Committee, member of the UCSF APP Board and member of the UCSF APP Mentorship Committee, as well as an AALSD and committee member for the LT SIG (special interest group).