Robert Nicoletti said that Jefferson gave him “a new lease on life.” And to show his appreciation, Mr. Nicoletti, along with his family, went above and beyond to provide unparalleled support to the Jefferson community.

In 2006, Mr. Nicoletti learned that he needed a kidney transplant. A number of relatives volunteered to serve as donors, but only one was compatible: his daughter, Lori Peruto, Esq.

The surgery was successful, and both Mr. Nicoletti 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 Mr. Nicoletti another 10 loving years with his children and grandchildren. He passed away in February 2016 at the age of 85.

Mr. Nicoletti and Mrs. Peruto attribute their seamless recoveries to physicians and staff in Jefferson’s Division of Transplantation and especially to their surgeons, Cataldo Doria, MD, PhD, and Adam Frank, MD. Mr. Nicoletti and Beatrice Nicoletti expressed their gratitude to Jefferson by establishing the Nicoletti Family Professorship in Transplantation Surgery, first held by Dr. Doria, the division director at the time. The current Nicoletti Family Professorship in Transplantation Surgery is held by Warren R. Maley, MD.

Endowed professorships are a critical resource to recruit and retain distinguished faculty and provide distinct esteem for the faculty who hold them, and the Nicoletti family provided an invaluable gift to Jefferson by initiating this fund. Their generosity did not end there. Sadly, Mr. Nicoletti’s beloved wife, Beatrice, passed away in 2009, and her family honored her by establishing another endowed professorship and giving it her name.

The Beatrice F. Nicoletti Professorship in Nephrology recognizes the work of another faculty member who treated Mr. Nicoletti during his illness: James F. Burke Jr., MD. Dr. Burke, the former director of the Division of Nephrology, spent his entire 40-year career at Jefferson before retiring in June 2011. The Beatrice F. Nicoletti Professorship in Nephrology is currently held by Pooja Singh, MD, MBA.

Everyone at Jefferson is grateful for Mr. Nicoletti and his family’s extraordinary dedication and philanthropy. Thanks to their generosity, we are able to acknowledge the achievements of stellar physicians while also ensuring the long-term growth and success of the nephrology and transplantation surgery programs at Jefferson.