Recognition for a lifetime of life-changing research & innovation

November 27, 2020 - Dr. Peter Nickerson, medical director of Transplant Manitoba, has been honoured with the Canadian Society of Transplantation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2020. The award recognizes a senior transplant physician, surgeon or scientist for their internationally recognized work in the field of transplantation and participation in the development of transplantation activities in Canada.

Through his innovative research and skilled administrative leadership, Dr. Nickerson has become one of Canada’s leading clinician scientists in the field of kidney transplantation. For the last two decades, his work related to transplant rejection, immunogenetics and non-invasive techniques to monitor immune activation have improved transplant outcomes for patients in Canada and around the world.

In addition to his outstanding contributions in kidney transplantation, Dr. Nickerson has led the Canadian national standardization of HLA laboratory practice (the testing used to match organ transplant recipients with compatible donors) and the development of an interprovincial transplant network in Canada that has impacted the lives of hundreds of Canadians to date.

Dr. Nickerson also played a pivotal role in the development of a health systems approach to transplant medicine. He helped design and implement a national transplant program that oversees interprovincial organ sharing. Rolled out by Canadian Blood Services under a mandate from the federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Health, this system includes the national Kidney Paired Donation Program and the highly-sensitized patient (HSP) Program in Canada allowing difficult-to-transplant patients a better chance of finding a compatible donor. The very first patient to benefit from the HSP program was a Manitoban! Thanks to the introduction of these programs, more than 1,000 people have received a life-changing kidney transplant.

Dr. Nickerson is a Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine and Immunology at the University of Manitoba, Vice Dean (Research) Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba. He is the Medical Advisor, Organ Donation and Transplantation Division, Canadian Blood Services, and holds the Flynn Family Chair in Renal Transplantation at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Nickerson has truly made outstanding contributions to the field of renal transplantation and we are so glad he calls Manitoba home.