Nationally Renowned Transplant Surgeon Matthew Cooper, MD to Lead United Network for Organ Sharing Board of Directors

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Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute and passionate advocate for organ donation and transplant patients begins term July 1

Dr. Matthew Cooper

Washington, D.C. – Matthew Cooper, M.D., FACS, Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital today begins his term as president of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Board of Directors. UNOS is the mission-driven nonprofit serving as the nation’s transplant system. Last year, the national transplant system set a record for the most lives saved by deceased organ donors.

“During the ongoing global health emergency, we are reminded again and again just how important organ donation and transplantation are to patients, families, and communities,” said Dr. Cooper, a professor of surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s academic partner, Georgetown University. “I am eager to work alongside the UNOS board, colleagues, physicians, policymakers and members of the community to improve and expand equitable access to this lifesaving care.”

Since 2004, Dr. Cooper has been closely involved with UNOS, serving as a representative on the Living Donor Committee, and later as Vice Chair and then Chair of that committee. In 2012, he began a 2-year period of elected service on the UNOS Board. He has served on the inaugural Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) subcommittee, the Policy Oversight Committee, the Membership and Professional Affairs Committee and as co-chair of the Ad-hoc Systems Performance Workgroup, among other roles.

“We are excited to have Dr. Cooper as the new president of the UNOS Board of Directors,” said UNOS CEO Brian Shepard. “His record of service to the transplant community, innovative work at the Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute, and ongoing advocacy for patients will help move UNOS and the donation and transplant community forward over the coming year.”

Dr. Cooper has devoted his career to advancing the field of organ transplant and to advocating for transplant patients and those in need of transplant. In addition to his service to UNOS, his leadership has included elected and volunteer positions with other leading transplant organizations, including the National Kidney Foundation(board member), Donate Life America (board member), The American Foundation for Donation and Transplant (president), and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (councilor).

At MedStar Health, the Washington, DC region’s leading health care system, Dr. Cooper has led the kidney and pancreas transplant program at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute since 2012. He has guided the program to national prominence, developing it into what is now the leading kidney transplant program in the Washington, DC region. Under his leadership, the program is among the top 10 highest volume centers for kidney transplants and the second largest paired kidney exchange program (through the National Kidney Registry) in the country; and is among the top three programs by volume for pancreas. In addition, Dr. Cooper provided critical testimony before the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce in support of H.R. 5534 regarding the “Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for the Kidney Transplant Patient’s Act” during the hearing on Legislation to Improve American’s Health Care Coverage and Outcomes. The legislation, which ensures life-long coverage for lifesaving immunosuppressants for transplant patients, became law in 2021.

Dr. Cooper received his medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1994, where he also currently Professor of Surgery. He completed his general surgery training at the Medical College of Wisconsin, followed by a fellowship in multi-organ abdominal transplantation in 2002 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. After director positions at both Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland, he assumed his current role in Washington, DC in 2012.

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Matthew Cooper, MD discusses his role as President of the Board of Directors at UNOS

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About MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute

MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, a systemwide program that is part of MedStar Health, the region’s largest health care system, is a multi-organ transplant program performing liver and kidney, pancreas, and small bowel transplant.  It is a leader within all these specialized groups, performs large numbers of living donor transplants, and operates the second largest paired kidney exchange program (through the National Kidney Registry) in the country.    MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, the base of operations for transplant surgery,  is a large, not-for-profit, tertiary-care teaching hospital located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options in a trusting and compassionate environment. 

About United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the mission-driven nonprofit serving as the nation’s transplant system under contract with the federal government. We lead the network of transplant hospitals, organ procurement organizations, and thousands of volunteers who are dedicated to honoring the gifts of life entrusted to us and to making lifesaving transplants possible for patients in need. Working together, we leverage data and advances in science and technology to continuously strengthen the system, increase the number of organs recovered and the number of transplants performed, and ensure patients across the nation have equitable access to transplant.