Suzanne Tollerud Ildstad, M.D. (MED ’78)
(originally published in 2014)
Director, Institute for Cellular Therapeutics
Jewish Hospital Distinguished Professor of Transplantation
Professor of Surgery, Physiology, Immunology
University of Louisville, Kentucky
CEO, Regenerex, LLC
“I chose Mayo Clinic School of Medicine for its excellence and quality of education. I have always respected Mayo Clinic’s quality of care and respect for the patient.”
- Fellowships: Pediatric Surgery, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Transplantation Biology Section, Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
- Residency: General Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
- Medical School: Mayo Clinic School of Medicine
- Undergraduate: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
- Native of: Edina, Minnesota
Why did you decide to pursue medicine?
My mother and grandmother were both graduates of Saint Marys School of Nursing in Rochester. I grew up attending their reunions at Mayo Clinic and was exposed to medicine at an early age. I knew by age 5 that I wanted to be a physician.
Why did you train at Mayo Clinic?
I chose Mayo Clinic School of Medicine for its excellence and quality of education. I have always respected Mayo Clinic’s quality of care and respect for the patient.
I became interested in surgery mainly because of Dr. Ollie Beahrs (S ’50), who became a valuable mentor.
What do you do in your spare time?
We are translating our basic research to the clinic and have more than five FDA-regulated clinical trials. Much of my time is occupied with that, and it’s very rewarding. We have kidney transplant recipients who do not need to take immunosuppression.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I am the CEO of a biotech startup company in addition to a transplant surgeon.