Dr. Akinlolu Ojo is an Associate Vice President for Clinical Research and Global Health Initiatives at the University of Arizona. Dr. Ojo received his medical education from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and residency training in internal medicine at the University of Kentucky. He completed nephrology fellowship, PhD in Epidemiologic Science and the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Michigan. Dr. Ojo research interest includes clinical transplantation and chronic kidney disease with a particular focus on African Americans (AA) and developing countries. He has over 120 peer-reviewed publications and has served on the editorial boards of several journals and on NIH study sections.
Dr. Ojo maintains an active clinical and translational research program with a portfolio of both NIH and industry funding. He is member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. Dr. Ojo maintains active research collaboration with investigators in Austria, Brazil, Ghana, Jamaica, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain and Taiwan. Dr. Ojo currently works with the Ministries of Health of several Caribbean countries to improve access to kidney disease care including dialysis treatment and kidney transplantation. Dr. Ojo is the Associate Vice President for Clinical Research and Global Health Initiatives at the University of Arizona Health Sciences in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences. Dr. Ojo came from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where he served as Professor of Medicine and the Inaugural Florence E. Bingham Research Professor in Nephrology. Dr. Ojo is an internationally recognized physician scientist with expertise in chronic kidney disease, kidney and kidney-pancreas transplantation and Global Health Research. He is the Program Director for the HRSA/DOT-funded National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC) which provides reimbursement to financially needy live organ donors for non-medical expenses incurred in the process of donating an organ.
Dr. Merion is President of Arbor Research Collaborative For Health and Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the University of Michigan. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a transplant surgeon and has served as project director on a variety of important federally funded organ transplantation research projects. He is internationally renowned for his seminal research initiatives in both therapeutic and public policy aspects of transplantation. Dr. Merion is widely published in peer-reviewed publications. He is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Transplantation, Chair of the Adult-to-Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation Cohort Study Steering Committee, Clinical Transplant Director of the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) and Secretary of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
Dr. Merion will serve as the NLDAC Program Deputy Director. In this capacity he will deputize for all the duties and responsibilities of the Program Director as necessary. Dr. Merion will serve as the lead research scientist responsible for directing the operations of the research/statistical analysis core. He will also serve as the key liaison between the National Living Donor Assistance Center and the SRTR in any collaborative effort that HRSA may direct the two projects to undertake.
Barry Hong is a Professor of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Dr. Hong has a Master in Divinity Degree from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and received his PhD in Psychology from St. Louis University. He is board certified in clinical psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. He serves as the Vice-Chairman for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Psychiatry and the Chief Psychologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He has had numerous appointments in the area of organ transplantation. He has served as a Psychological Consultant to Mid-America Transplant Services since 1992 and has been a member of the Advisory Council and is the present Chairman of the Missouri Kidney Program. In addition, he has worked with the liver and renal divisions at Washington University and has been an active member of the kidney and liver transplant services.
Dr. Hong is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings and has previously served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and PsycCRITIQUES. Both are journals of the American Psychological Association. He has authored 50 peer-reviewed publications and has received Honors from the American Psychopathological Association, Missouri Psychological Association and Divisions of Health Psychology and Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Hong will provide content expertise to the development of data collection instruments. He will serve as the lead scientist for methodologic issues. He will lead the effort in refining research hypotheses to be tested. He will work closely with the staff in Research/Statistical Analysis Core to ensure integrity of the data collection and evaluation.
Dr. Mathur is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Transplant Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona.
His clinical practice includes living donor and deceased donor transplant of the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
Dr. Mathur completed his his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Florida, and his internship, residency and transplant surgery fellowship
in the the University of Michigan Health System. Dr. Mathur also completed a Master of Science in Health and Health Care Research through the
University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2010. Dr. Mathur is board-certified in general surgery and has completed an ASTS multi-organ abdominal
transplant fellowship. He was awarded research funding from the National Institute of Health and the Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities in 2008 and 2012.
Dr. Mathur has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters. His academic interests span several areas of health services research in end organ failure,
organ donation, and transplantation.
Dr. Mathur is the Program Evaluation Specialist for the National Living Donor Assistance Center.
He is responsible for the development and reporting of program metrics under the direction of the Project Director and Deputy Director.
Dr. Mathur is also responsible for identifying broader program implications on transplantation via dataset linkages with relevant demographic and transplant databases.
Kimberly A. Gifford is the Executive Director/CEO of the American Society of
Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) and its affiliate, the ASTS Foundation.
Ms. Gifford holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Park University.
In 2010, she received a Master of Business Administration from the University
of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Ms. Gifford has been part of
the ASTS staff since 2005 and became the Executive Director/CEO in July 2011.
During her tenure with ASTS, Ms. Gifford has been involved in numerous new
initiatives that have contributed to ASTS’ overall growth including the
development of the Academic Universe. She has demonstrated the ability to
galvanize ASTS members, build collaborative relationships and engage
other stakeholders to achieve results. She routinely partners with other
organizations to achieve common goals. Ms. Gifford is experienced in analyzing
operations and implementing systems and processes to maximize efficiencies.
Ms. Gifford will provide managerial leadership in overall administration of
the project and will prepare financial reports as well as ensure quality controls.
Holly Warren has been a member of the transplant community for over 20 years and has experience
working in organ procurement as well as organ transplantation. She graduated from Fresno City College
as a Registered Nurse in 1976 and completed her Bachelors Degree in Human Resources Management from
Fresno Pacific University in 1996. Holly began her career in transplant when she was hired by the
newly designated organ procurement agency, the California Transplant Donor Network (CTDN) in 1988.
She worked at CTDN until 2004 and then took a position as a Cardiomyopathy/Heart Transplant
Coordinator at the University of Maryland Medical Center where she worked until 2007.
Ms. Warren served on the board of NATCO, The Organization for Transplant Professionals,
from 2001-2005 as Council-at-Large and Treasurer. She also served as Chair of the NATCO Education
Committee in 2001. Additionally, she was a member of the Ethics Committee at Community Regional
Medical Center from 1995-2004.
As Program Coordinator for the National Living Donor Assistance Center, Ms. Warren will serve as the leader
interfacing with transplant centers to educate them on how they can register for the program and
apply for funds on behalf of potential living donors. She will also manage and participate
in the application reviews and will help evaluate the impact of this program on living donation.
Iby Diaz has extensive experience in the administrative and technical fields. Ms. Diaz holds an
Education and a Law Degree from Lima, Peru - the latter being recognized by the Washington University
as a Jurisprudence Degree. Ms. Diaz started her career at Banco de Lima in 1975, where she worked as a Principal
Officer in the Program Development Department and was part of the Bank’s task force that expanded the
institution through the creation of new branches. After graduation from Law School in 1981,
Ms. Diaz moved to the United States to join the Inter American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. (IADB)
At IADB, Ms. Diaz worked as a Technical Resources Analyst for the Project Financial Division and was involved in
the analysis and development of a new financial software and Portal. She was in charge of the training
of local and international staff about the procedures and operation of the Division’s new tools.
She prepared and reviewed educational material and guidelines in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Ms. Diaz also served as a liaison between the IADB and approximately 500 accounting/auditing firms from Latin
America who submitted their professional background information to compete for audit works required by
IADB-funded projects. She performed a preliminary review to determine their eligibility and prepared
communications and monthly reports on the submission of audited financial statements.
Maureen Ndoto started working as the NLDAC Program Assistant in September 2013. Ms. Ndoto graduated
from Baylor University, Waco TX in 2007 with a dual BA in Environmental and International Studies.
Ms. Ndoto has 5 years of administrative experience at George Washington University and in the
summer of 2013 she completed a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the George Washington
University. Ms. Ndoto is fluent in Swahili and conversant in Spanish.
Ms. Ndoto's duties at NLDAC will include: fielding phone calls from transplant professionals
and patients regarding the application process, data management, invoicing, writing and
distributing the newsletter, and assisting the management of donor applications and controlled
If you are considering organ donation, NLDAC may be able to lessen the burden of travel expenses. View the NLDAC Eligibility Screening Tool for NLDAC household income requirements.
To learn more about the application process, read the NLDAC brochure "How to Apply" in English or Spanish.
Join NLDAC in its mission to reduce financial disincentives to living donation. Please print a NLDAC poster and place it in your kidney transplant clinic or your local dialysis clinic. If you would like us to mail you posters or brochures, please complete this request form. If you would like to learn about the application process, click on the link below.