A nationally recognized innovator in the field of organ transplant was recently appointed as the next transplant division chief for the University of Wisconsin Hospital and medical school and starts his new job today.

Dixon Kaufman was previously a member of the faculty and vice chair of research for the surgery department at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, according to a statement from UW Health.

UW Health spokesperson Lisa Brunette said the position carries a number of administrative and educational responsibilities and Kaufman will work to ensure the continuing high standards for the program.

Surgery Chair Craig Kent said in a statement Kaufman will be a welcome asset to an already nationally renowned transplant team.

Kaufman has also earned recognition for his involvement in immunosuppression and islet cell transplantation research with type I diabetes patients, the statement said.

Brunette said UW was looking for an individual with proven leadership abilities in research, education and clinical care.

Kaufman will also pay a key role on the UW committee to recruit top-tier physicians to perform transplants at the institution and will work with students, interns and residents at the hospital.

“UW has one of the largest transplant programs in the country,” Brunette said. “Physicians have been performing kidney transplants for more than 40 years before specializing in other kinds of transplants.”

Brunette said in an e-mail to The Badger Herald the UW transplant program has conducted nearly 11,000 transplants since 1966 and the department now houses 10 full-time faculty specializing in the field.

A UW Health statement also said the transplant division chief will be responsible for overseeing general clinical services and the university’s transplant service line.

“This experienced and highly motivated transplant surgeon is expected to foster productive and innovative collaborations with colleagues, service line leadership, clinical departments and executive leadership,” the statement said.

UW officials expect the new transplant chief to help lead the department in future expansion and continue the standard of excellence, the statement said.