Suzanne T. Ildstad, M.D., is CEO of Regenerex, LLC, Director of the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics (ICT), Jewish Hospital Distinguished Professor of Transplantation, and Professor of Surgery at the University of Louisville. Dr. Ildstad received her medical degree from the Mayo Medical School followed by a residency in general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Ildstad completed a medical staff fellowship in transplantation immunology at the National Institutes of Health, where she, together with Dr. David Sachs, established the model for mixed hematopoietic chimerism. From 1986 - 1988, Dr. Ildstad was a Clinical Fellow in Pediatric Surgery at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Dr. Ildstad then joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1988 in Pediatric Surgery. In 1992, she became the Co-Director of the Cell Transplant Facility, Division of Transplant at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Ildstad was recruited to Allegheny University of the Health Sciences in Philadelphia in 1996 where she first established the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics.
ICT is a multidisciplinary translational research program focused on the development of novel cell-based therapies for the treatment of diseases. In 1998, the Institute relocated to the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Dr. Ildstad’s research on mixed chimerism to induce tolerance to organ allografts and treat nonmalignant diseases such as sickle cell anemia and autoimmune disorders is currently being applied in numerous U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved translational clinical trials, including kidney tolerance, sickle cell disease, and inherited metabolic disorders.
She is actively involved in many professional associations, serves on a number of editorial boards for peer-reviewed journals, and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the only woman to receive the Mayo Clinic Distinguished Alumnus Award (2000). Dr. Ildstad was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences in 1997 and serves as a correspondent for the Committee on Human Rights. She has served on six IOM committees, including organ donation and multiple sclerosis and was the chair of the IOM committee commissioned by NASA to evaluate clinical trials involving astronauts in space.
In 2007, Dr. Ildstad received the prestigious W.M. Keck Foundation Award. Dr. Ildstad is the recipient of several federally funded research grants and has been continuously funded since 1989. Her recent breakthrough in eliminating the need for chronic immunosuppressive agents in kidney transplant recipients has been referred to as a “disruptive technology”.