Yolanda T. Becker, MD, professor of surgery and director of the kidney and pancreas transplantation program at the University of Chicago Medicine, has been elected vice president/president-elect of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing (OPTN/UNOS) board of directors. Becker will serve a one-year term as vice president/president-elect, beginning July 1, 2016, before becoming president of the organization in July 2017. As vice president/president-elect, she will also serve as vice chair of the OPTN/UNOS Executive Committee and UNOS’ Corporate Affairs Committee.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) serves as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) by contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Transplantation. The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop national organ transplantation policy.
“I am passionate about working to achieve the best outcomes for patients and organs, while working with transplant centers to support innovation. I welcome this opportunity to serve our community,” Becker said. “I thank my colleagues in the division of transplant and department of surgery at the University of Chicago for their support.”
Becker specializes in kidney and pancreas transplantation, dialysis access surgery and living-donor procedures at UChicago Medicine. She is known for her clinical research on reducing transplant rejection rates and her basic research in immunology. She’s authored more than 100 scientific articles and abstracts in publications.
Becker currently serves on the OPTN/UNOS board of directors as a medical/scientific organization representative, and previously served on the board and executive committee as a regional councillor. She has chaired the OPTN/UNOS Policy Oversight Committee, and has worked in various capacities on several of the organization’s professional subcommittees.
In addition to her work with OPTN/UNOS, Becker has served on the board of directors for the American Society of Transplantation and the National Kidney Registry, and is an active member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
Becker earned her medical degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and received additional leadership training through the Executive Leaders in Academic Medicine program at Drexel University College of Medicine.