Michael Rees, MD, PhD is a renowned transplant surgeon, immunologist, and philanthropist. Dr. Rees has a wealth of experience in the renal transplant program, having performed over 750 operations at the University of Toledo Medical Center in Ohio, where he currently serves as the Director of Renal Transplantation. His passion for improving the lives of patients with kidney diseases led him to co-design a computer program that matches incompatible donor and receiver pairs for transplantation through kidney paired donation. In 2006, Dr. Rees founded the Alliance for Paired Donation, a non-profit organization that now has 70 participating transplant centers in 30 U.S. states and has arranged transplants for more than 350 patients. Dr. Michael Rees is also an accomplished academic, holding a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Immunology from the University of Cambridge, a Medical Doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry, Biology, and Ethics from Hope College. He has also published his breakthrough concept in the New England Journal of Medicine that introduced the strategy of Nonsimultaneous Extended Altruistic Donors, which has become the most common method of creating kidney paired donation (KPD) transplants in the United States.
Thanks to his pioneering work, Dr. Rees was invited by Professor Alvin Roth to join him at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm in 2012. Dr. Rees's current research is to study KPD financing, histocompatibility typing, and optimization to improve the selection of donor-recipient pairs in KPD. The highlight of his career was his leadership in completing the first Global Kidney Exchange transplant, where KPD was used to bridge the barrier of poverty in January 2015. Dr. Michael Rees is a gem in the field of transplantation, always pushing his limits to make the impossible possible.