PHILADELPHIA — A physician from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has received the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Peter Reese, MD, MSCE, assistant professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for "innovative work on ethical approaches to expanding access to organ transplantation."

"I feel very grateful to receive this award. I owe a great deal to my mentors and collaborators at Penn for their support," said Dr. Reese. "I hope that the award will direct attention to the pressing need to increase organ donation and reduce waiting times for transplants."

Dr. Reese, who takes care of kidney transplant recipients and living kidney donors, received the PECASE award for his efforts to develop effective strategies to increase access to kidney and liver transplantation. 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 (UNOS), his work helps to translate clinical research into effective national policy.

Dr. Reese's research was among the first to examine the practice and ethical implications of accepting live kidney donors with risk factors for kidney disease. He has written specifically about barriers to live donor transplantation, the use of kidneys from deceased donors at increased risk of HIV and other blood-borne viral infection, and the implications of proposed organ allocation systems for the elderly.

Dr. Reese's research efforts have been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Society of Transplantation, a T. Franklin Williams Award in geriatric research (co-sponsored by the Association of Specialty Professors and the American Society of Nephrology), and the Leonard Davis Institute.

For more information on the award, please see the press release from The White House.

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 $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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