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  • Professor of Renal Transplantation
  • Department of Surgical Biotechnology
  • Div of Surgery & Interventional Sci
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

Reza Motallebzadeh was educated at Westminster School, London and completed the pre-clinical and clinical Medical Sciences Tripos at St. John's College, University of Cambridge. Reza initially trained as a specialist registrar in cardiothoracic surgery in London, and undertook a research MD at St. George’s Hospital, London University. Reza was always fascinated by immunology and subsequently pursued a career in abdominal transplantation surgery. He completed a PhD (2008-2011) in the Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge, to understand the role of tertiary lymphoid organs in chronic allograft rejection, and then, as a NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer, his work focused on the role of germinal centre B cells in alloantibody-mediated rejection. 


Reza joined the Royal Free London NHS Trust as Honorary Consultant Renal Transplant Surgeon and Associate Professor, University College London in September 2017. He is currently Professor of Renal Transplantation, Head of Centre for Transplantation in the Department of Renal Medicine, and Deputy Head, Centre for Surgical Innovation, Organ Repair and Transplantation, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, UCL.

Research Summary

Reza Motallebzadeh directs the basic science and translational academic research from the Transplant Directorate at the Royal Free Hospital and Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, and leads the unit’s clinical renal transplantation trials portfolio.  


Reza's laboratory is focused on collaborative, multidisciplinary and translational research in experimental and clinical kidney transplantation. The research themes are underpinned by a commitment to developing innovative collaborations with academic centres and industrial partners to address fundamental questions concerning end-stage kidney disease and kidney transplantation. Reza's clinical research programme similarly utilises a multidisciplinary approach to address key clinical challenges in kidney transplantation and vascular access surgery. These include -


 - Delineating the role of the gut microbiota and microbial-derived metabolites and influence on T and B regulatory cells in acute rejection in renal transplantation.

- Understanding the immune mechanisms underlying development of allograft vasculopathy and chronic rejection in solid organ transplantation, in particular the role of T follicular helper cells.


 - Developing 3D culture models of renal fibrosis using organoids based on human kidney extracellular matrix scaffolds.

- Investigating the basis of attenuated B cell responses to vaccines in patients with chronic kidney disease

Teaching Summary

1. Lead for the UCL MB PhD programme

2. Co-Theme Director of the Experimental and Translational Medicine (ETM) stream of the UCL-Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Partnership

3. Co-module Lead & Course Tutor for the Transplantation Science module of the MSc/MRes Programme in Human Tissue Repair and Surgical and Interventional Sciences (SURG0083: Transplantation Science). 


4. Module Lead & Course Tutor for the Student Selected Component in Transplantation Sciences (MBBS Year 2 SSC: Transplantation Sciences, SSC110).


5. Teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, UCL


6. Clinical Supervisor for surgical trainees in renal transplantation.

2013 – 2017 NIHR Clinical Lecturer & Honorary Specialist Registrar Department of Surgery (Transplantation) Cambridge University, United Kingdom
2011 – 2013 Specialist Registrar Department of General Surgery Luton & Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust, United Kingdom
2008 – 2011 Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellow Department of Surgery (Transplantation) Cambridge University, United Kingdom
2007 – 2008 Academic Clinical Fellow & Honorary Specialist Registrar Department of Surgery (Transplantation) Cambridge University, United Kingdom
2006 – 2007 Specialist Registrar Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
2004 – 2006 Specialist Registrar Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
2002 – 2004 Clinical Research Fellow Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery St. George's University Hospital, United Kingdom
2000 – 2002 Senior House Officer SHO Surgical Rotation (Eastern Deanery) Cambridge University Hospital & Papworth NHS Trust, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2015   Fellow Of The Royal College Of Surgeons Royal College of Surgeons of England
2012   Doctor of Philosophy University of Cambridge
2006   Doctor of Medicine St George's Hospital Medical School
2000   Master of Arts University of Cambridge
1998   Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery University of Cambridge
1996   Bachelor of Arts University of Cambridge
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