Jordan pioneered the use of immuneomodulatory therapies—a group of drugs that help modify the response of the immune system—in preventing organ rejection in transplant patients–an innovation that transformed the field of transplant medicine and opened up organ transplantation for many.
Election to the association is limited to 70 physicians a year who have made outstanding contributions to basic or translational biomedical research.
“Dr. Jordan’s work in transplant immunology has been life-changing for patients around the world,” said Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the Medical Faculty at Cedars-Sinai. “His election is an acknowledgement of his major contributions that have saved lives and added significantly to our understanding of transplant medicine.”
Immunomodulatory therapies developed at Cedars-Sinai included the use of plasmaphereis used in conjuction with high-dose immune globulin and B-cell depletion to help make the immune system stronger for patients needing an organ transplant. This procedure removes donor-specific antibodies and prevents rebound that would otherwise cause them to attack donor organs, leading to organ rejection. Jordan’s groundbreaking work to develop this treatment method is now used around the world to allow transplant patients to receive blood type-incompatible transplants.
“I feel extremely honored and privileged to have been elected as a member of the Association of American Physicians, as this is one of the highest honors given to academic physicians in the U.S.,” Jordan said. “I feel it is a team effort, and a recognition and validation of how creative scholarship and clinical research leads to innovative therapies that improve the lives and wellbeing of our patients every day.”
Jordan has received numerous additional awards for his work, including the prestigious Medawar Prize, one of the top international honors for scientific achievement. He also has been the recipient of the National Kidney Foundation’s Gift of Life Award; the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the Cedars-Sinai Pioneer in Medicine Award; The Transplantation Society’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Transplantation; the Jean Hamburger Award for Excellence in Clinical Research from the International Society of Nephrology; the Senior Achievement Award from the American Society of Transplantation; and the Mayo Soley Award from the Western Society of Clinical Investigation.
“Not only have Dr. Jordan’s scientific contributions been transformative, but he is also the ultimate academician and served as a mentor and leader to enrich the research careers for many others at Cedars-Sinai and beyond,” said Irene Kim, MD, associate professor of Surgery and director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center.
The Association of American Physicians is an honorary medical society founded in 1885 for “the advancement of scientific and practical medicine.” It includes about 1,200 active members and 700 emeritus and honorary members. The association holds an annual meeting of physician-scientists to showcase and share scientific knowledge to improve patient care and public health.
Read more in Discoveries: Being Patient: The Delicate Timing of Organ Transplantation