Associate Professor of Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery
Duke University Medical Center
Dr. Cendales, the only person in the United States to have completed formal fellowship training in both Hand and Microsurgery and Transplant Surgery, is a Duke Health Scholar and the Director of the Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation at Duke University Medical Center. Vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) is the transplantation of multiple tissues, such as skin, muscle, bone, nerves, and tendons, as a functional unit (e.g., hand). Dr. Cendales helped organize the first VCA team in the U.S. and participated in the country’s first two hand transplants. She was subsequently the first surgeon accepted into the Transplant Surgery and Immunobiology Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). During her time at the NIH, Dr. Cendales established and published a model of VCA in nonhuman primates and has one of the largest experiences in VCA in non-human primates reported in the scientific literature. She organized the first international symposium on VCA histopathology at the International Banff Conferences on Allograft Pathology, leading to the published classification system now used as a standard for clinical reporting of rejection worldwide.
Prior to joining Duke, Dr. Cendales established the VCA program at Emory University and led the multi-disciplinary team that performed Georgia’s first hand transplant in March 2011. While at Duke, she established the VCA program and led the multi-disciplinary team that performed North Carolina’s first unilateral and the first bilateral hand transplants in May 2016 and in November 2018, respectively. Dr. Cendales is the Principal Investigator of clinical and translational studies in VCA funded by the Department of Defense. Dr. Cendales is the Past-President of the International Society of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Society (ISVCA), the past Chair of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network / United Network for Organ Sharing (OPTN/UNOS) Vascularized Composite Allograft (VCA) Committee, an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Transplantation and of Clinical Transplantation, the Past-Chair of the American Transplant Congress, the Past-Chair of the American Society of Transplantation VCA Advisory Board, she is a Council at Large of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, a past Member at Large of the Board of Directors of the OPTN and of UNOS and is currently the Secretary of the OPTN and of UNOS. She has co-authored numerous scientific manuscripts, abstracts, and invited publications. Similarly, Dr. Cendales has made countless presentations at national and international meetings.