NYU Names New Chair of Surgery Department

NEW YORK — Robert Montgomery, MD, DPhil, a surgeon and director of the Transplant Institute at NYU Langone Health, has been appointed chair of the Department of Surgery at the hospital. He will assume his new post on September 1st.

H. Leon Pachter, MD, the George Stewart Professor, who has had a distinguished tenure as chair of the Department since being named departmental chair in 2007, will remain a member of the faculty as chair emeritus.

An internationally-renowned surgeon, Montgomery (photo above) 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 transplantation.

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.

Prior to joining NYU Langone, Montgomery developed a system of multi-way 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 risk of organ rejection, and has done 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, the dean and chief executive officer of NYU Langone Health. “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 Grossman. “His commitment to patients, trainees and his faculty embodies the principles of a great leader and outstanding physicians.”

After graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from St. Lawrence University, Montgomery graduated with honors from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and received his doctor of philosophy from Balliol College at the University of Oxford, England, in molecular immunology. He completed his general surgical training, postdoctoral fellowship in human molecular genetics, and transplantation surgery fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.