Newswise — PHILADELPHIA—The Greenwall Foundation has named Penn Medicine’s Peter Reese, MD, MSCE, a leading voice for improving organ donor rates and access to transplant, as a 2013 Greenwall Faculty Scholar in Bioethics.

The Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program supports research that goes beyond current work in bioethics to help resolve pressing ethical issues in clinical care, biomedical research, and public policy. Dr. Reese, who is an assistant professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Penn, is one of four innovative thinkers in the nation this year to receive the prestigious honor.

Among other projects, he will conduct a randomized controlled trial of novel methods to improve the rates of donor registration.

The Greenwall Foundation supports this career development program to enable faculty to carry out original research on policy and moral dilemmas at the intersection of ethics and the life sciences. Scholars will receive 50 percent salary support for three years to develop their research program.

Dr. Reese, who takes care of kidney transplant recipients and living kidney donors, focuses on developing effective strategies to increase access to kidney and liver transplantation. His research is motivated by the widening gap between the number of patients wait-listed for transplants and the limited number of organs available. He uses tools from epidemiology, biostatistics, health services research and medical ethics to describe disparities in transplantation and methods to overcome them. Through policy development work with the United Network for Organ Sharing, he also helps to translate clinical research into effective national policy.

Dr. Reese has written specifically about barriers to live donor transplantation, the impact of functional status on kidney transplant outcomes, and the implications of organ allocation policies for the elderly. His work was among the first to examine the practice and ethical implications of accepting live kidney donors with risk factors for kidney disease.

In recognition of his contributions to transplant research, he received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in July 2012, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

##Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2012, Penn Medicine provided $827 million to benefit our community.

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