Robert Montgomery, MD, DPhil, a pioneering surgeon and director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, has been appointed chair of the Department of Surgery. He will assume his new post on September 1. H. Leon Pachter, MD, the George David Stewart Professor of Surgery, who has had a distinguished tenure as chair of the department since 2007, will remain a member of the faculty as chair emeritus.
An internationally renowned surgeon, Dr. Montgomery joined the faculty of NYU Grossman School of Medicine in 2016 from The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was part of the team that pioneered a laparoscopic technique for procuring a kidney for live donation that is now standard practice. Under his leadership, the Transplant Institute at NYU Langone has been developing innovative protocols and making significant contributions toward increasing the availability of organs for transplant.
Dr. Montgomery made major headlines himself when, in 2018, the team he assembled performed a heart transplant on him. In yet another example of the game-changing advances he is helping bring about, he accepted a heart that was positive for hepatitis C—organs for which he has strongly advocated for other recipients, including those in the heart, lung, kidney, and liver programs. Thanks to protocols he helped develop, these organs can now be made safe with antiviral medications.
Before joining NYU Langone, Dr. Montgomery developed a system of multiway donor exchanges, also called “domino” exchanges, facilitating transplants when an intended organ recipient has a donor who is incompatible. He has created techniques such as desensitization therapy to reduce the risk of organ rejection, and has performed groundbreaking research on the possible use of organs from genetically modified animals to address the dire shortages of organs available for transplant.
“Dr. Montgomery has made a name for himself in the field of transplant surgery, not only as an innovator and leader, but as a grateful patient,” says Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean and CEO of NYU Langone. “Under his leadership, the Department of Surgery will continue to push the envelope on behalf of our patients to ensure we continue to provide world-class care.”
“We thank Dr. Pachter for his leadership of the department, which saw tremendous growth—tripling in size during his tenure,” says Dr. Grossman. “His commitment to patients, trainees, and his faculty embodies the principles of a great leader and outstanding physician.”
About Dr. Montgomery
After graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor of science in biology from St. Lawrence University, Dr. Montgomery graduated with honors from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and received his doctor of philosophy in molecular immunology from Balliol College at the University of Oxford, England. He completed his general surgical training, postdoctoral fellowship in human molecular genetics, and transplantation surgery fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
A prolific researcher and educator, Dr. Montgomery has authored or co-authored more than 275 peer-reviewed publications (cited more than 25,000 times) and given 250 invited or named lectures. In addition to his many academic honors and distinctions, including a Fulbright Scholarship and a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, in 2019 the Greater New York Hospital Association presented him with the Profile in Courage Award. He appears in the 2010 Guinness Book of World Records for the most kidney transplants performed in one day.
“The Department of Surgery at NYU Langone enjoys a distinguished history of discovery and innovation, which has been further enhanced under the exemplary leadership of Dr. Leon Pachter,” Dr. Montgomery says. “I am extremely excited to accept this new position, and I look forward to this extraordinary opportunity to advance NYU Langone’s trifold commitment to education, research, and clinical care.”