The web site of the Chicago Transplant Ethics Consortium

Michael Abecassis, M.D.,MBA-Chairman

Michael Abecassis M.D., MBA, is a transplant surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.  He is a Professor of Surgery and Microbiology/Immunology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Chief of the Transplant Division.  His research interests include Living Donor Liver Transplantation for adults and he is the principal investigator of the NIH sponsored A2ALL grant on adult-to-adult living liver transplantation (  He has authored multiple manuscripts over the past decade on transplantation in general, and living donor transplantation in particular.  He is one of the founding members of CTEC. 

Articles: Simmerling M, Angelos P, Franklin J, Abecassis M.  The commercialization of human organs for transplantation:  the current status of the ethical debate.  Curr Opin Organ Transplant, in press, 2006.


Mary Simmerling, Ph.D.- Executive Director

Mary Simmerling, Ph.D. is a philosopher specializing in ethical issues related to health, organ transplantation, and research, with a particular focus on justice and human rights.  Her current work focuses on the social determinants of health and barriers to accessing health and health- related services in the context of organ transplantation. 

Mary has been an ethics and policy consultant for a number of local and national organizations, including the American Medical Association and Gift of Hope of Illinois. She also sits on a number of local and national boards that focus on human rights and social justice.  Mary is the Executive Director and founding member of the Chicago Transplant Ethics Consortium (CTEC) and is currently a Senior Fellow and instructor in the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, where she is also the Director of the Social Sciences IRB.  Her work can been seen online at


Doug Penrod, RN-Secretary

Doug Penrod, RN is a Transplant Nurse Coordinator/Transplant Outreach Liaison at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He has 18 years experience in all areas of abdominal organ transplantation including procurement, pre, post and in-patient care of kidney, live donors, pancreas, and islet cell transplant patients. His principal interest is in patient and dialysis unit staff education on kidney transplantation and is the Region 7 Representative on the OPTN/UNOS Communications Committee.  He joined CTEC in early 2005.


Luke Preczewski-Treasurer

Luke Preczewski is the Administrator for Transplant Surgery at Northwestern University. His specific interests include the economics and ethics in transplantation, healthcare informatics, and human subjects protection.


Peter Angelos, M.D., PhD.-Director

Peter Angelos, M.D., PhD, is an Associate Professor of Surgery, Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine. He is a member of the International Society of Surgery, as well as the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.


Joel Frader, M.D., M.A.-Director

Joel Frader, M.D., M.A.,  is Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine and Division Head, General Academic Pediatrics at Children's Memorial Hospital.  Dr. Frader has maintained an interest in sociological and ethical issues in transplantation and surgery for many years.  He has written about such topics as donation after cardiac death, ethical issues special to pediatrics, and conflicts of interest in transplantation.  In addition, Dr. Frader has particular interests in the ethics of innovation in surgery, research ethics, especially with regard to studies with child subjects, the ethics of pediatric intensive care, and ethical issues associated with withholding and withdrawing life-supporting treatment.


John Franklin, M.D., M.Sc-Director

John Franklin, M.D., M.Sc, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry  and Surgery, Associate Dean of Minority and Cultural Affairs at the Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Franklin's sub-specialties have included addiction medicine, C-L (medical-surgical) psychiatry and for the past 15 years transplant psychiatry. He is a founding member of CTEC. 


John Friedewald, M.D. -Director

John Friedewald, M.D. is a transplant nephrologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.  He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine.  His research interests include Living Donor Kidney Transplantation and highly sensitized kidney recipients.  He is a member of the UNOS Kidney/Pancreas subcommittee on Paired Live Donor Kidney Exchanges and is working towards developing a national system for sharing live donor kidneys to help incompatible patients.  He is the Principal Investigator for one of the NIH sponsored CTOT trials looking at the treatment of chronic humoral rejection in kidney transplant recipients and another looking at non-invasive markers of rejection (


Aviva Goldberg, M.D., FRCPC-Director

Aviva Goldberg, M.D., FRCPC, is a pediatric nephrologist who is finishing a fellowship in Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern University and is in the process of completing a Masters degree in Bioethics and Health Policy at Loyola University. She will soon be an member of the Section of Pediatric Nephrology at the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital and will work in bioethics at the University off Manitoba.  She is a member of the American Societies of Transplantation, Nephrology, Bioethics and Humanities. Dr. Goldberg is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC).


Bernie Keller-Director

Bernie Keller.


Charles Leroux-Director

Charles Leroux is a Senior Correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. In 1993, he had a cadaver kidney transplant, that, after five years, gave in to cyclosporine toxicity. In 2001, Mr. Leroux,  got a kidney from his wife—the first crossmatch-positive Living Donor Kidney Transplantation done at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, using a pre-transplant desensitization protocol to allow transplants previously impossible to perform. Currently his kidney is “doing great” and he is an active member of CTEC, who represents the patient’s viewpoint.


Joseph Leventhal, M.D., Ph.D-Director

Joseph Leventhal, M.D., Ph.D, is an Associate Professor of Surgery, and an Institutional Official at the Feinberg School of Medicine. He is also Director of the Multi-organ Transplant Fellowship; Director of Vascular Access Surgery in the Division of Organ Transplantation; and Director of the Laparoscopic Live Renal Donor Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Dr. Leventhal is a member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) Newsletter Committee as well as on the ASTS Standards of Organ Transplantation Committee. In addition, he is an International Xenotransplantation Association (IXA) Elected Counselor.


Gwen McNatt, MS, RN, CNN, CFNP-Director

Gwen McNatt, MS, RN, CNN, CFNP, is the Director of the Kovler Organ Transplantation Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She is a member of the American Nephrology Nurses Association; the International Transplant Nurses Society; and NATCO (The Organization for Transplant Professionals). Furthermore, Nurse McNatt is a Region 7 representative for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Communications Committee.  


Laurence Sherman, M.D., J.D.-Director

Laurence Sherman MD, JD is  an internist/clinical pathologist, and Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University Medical School.   His research  included basic and clinical blood coagulation and blood transfusion.  At Northwestern he was Director of Clinical Laboratories and the Blood Bank.  Previously at Washington University (St. Louis) he was Associate Director of a NHLBI Thrombosis SCOR, and directed an NHLBI Research Training Program.   He has published widely in these areas, including on legal and ethical aspects.   He has been active in a number of national organizations, including President of the American Association of Blood Banks, and Chair of its Ethics Committee. Current interests are in the communication and legal/ethical elements of consent, and ethical aspects of the living donor “gift”.


Jason Snyder, Ph.D.-Director

Jason Snyder received his Ph.D. from the Business and Public Policy department at the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Northwestern University School of Law.




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