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Jefferson Receives $2.5 Million from the Robert V. Nicoletti Family Trust for New Kidney Transplant Center


Robert V. Nicoletti

PHILADELPHIA  — Jefferson Health announced a $2.5 million gift from the Robert V. Nicoletti Family Trust to establish a new kidney transplant center with a special focus on living donor transplantation. The Nicoletti Kidney Transplant Center at Jefferson brings together research, education and clinical care in one space. On December 14, the Nicoletti Family, other benefactors and Jefferson leaders will gather to cut the ribbon, officially opening the Center to patients and their families.

“When patients come to the Nicoletti Kidney Transplant Center, they will have an entire team of clinicians who are there to support them every step of the way,” said Cataldo Doria, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS, the Nicoletti Family Professor of Transplant Surgery and Director of Jefferson’s Transplant Institute. “The Center will serve as the hub of operations both for seamless clinical care and, equally as important, education about living donation.”

Conveniently located on the corner of 9th and Chestnut Streets near SEPTA’s Jefferson Station, the Nicoletti Center will bring together multidisciplinary experts under one roof in a patient-centered care delivery model. Amenities include private conference and education rooms to provide patients and kidney donors with a quiet, comfortable environment to meet with Jefferson’s team throughout their transplant journey.

The lead benefactors to the Center know firsthand about the emotions behind living donation. In 2006, businessman and philanthropist Robert (Bob) V. Nicoletti required a kidney transplant at Jefferson. Seven members of his family immediately volunteered to donate a kidney. Ultimately, only one was deemed compatible: Bob’s youngest daughter, Lori Nicoletti Peruto, Esq. “When we learned of dad’s condition, we knew what we had to do,” Lori said. “There was no question, no hesitation.”

The surgeries, performed by Drs. Doria and Adam Frank, were successful, and both Bob and Lori quickly regained their strength and returned to their normal lifestyle in a few weeks. That simple “yes” to a life-saving kidney gave Bob—who passed away in February 2016 at 85 years-old—another 10 loving years with his children and grandchildren.

Inspired by their care, Bob and his family became steadfast and generous donors to Jefferson. “Dad believed in helping in a comprehensive way,” said Mark R. Nicoletti, Sr., Bob’s son. “The Jefferson team helped us, and he wanted to pass it on for others by establishing the Nicoletti Kidney Transplant Center.” Mark, Lori and her husband, John M. Peruto, Esq., and their sister, Donna Nicoletti Ferrier and husband, Joseph J. Ferrier, provided the leadership gift to name the new Center.  

“Asking someone to donate their kidney is a big ask,” said Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “We are extremely thankful to Bob and the Nicoletti Family for demonstrating their tremendous commitment to Jefferson with this big gift that will help us provide world-class care to our brave donors and recipients.”

To learn more about the Kidney Transplant Program at Jefferson, please visit

Media Contact:
Gail Benner