Nathaniel Pester receives Lieberman Travel Award

Nathaniel Pester, a UNMC medical student, received the UNMC Department of Anesthesiology’s Lieberman Travel Award. The award will allow Pester to attend the Midwest Anesthesia Residents’ Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to present his research.

The MARC conference is the largest conference specifically for residents in the nation. Pester will join other participants in presenting their novel research and other projects.

“MARC will be the first conference I have ever presented research at that is not a small local conference. I am excited to meet students, residents and faculty from other institutions across the Midwest,” Pester said. “I’m also looking forward to seeing a large variety of research projects from different institutions, as well as seeing other projects at UNMC.”

Pester has worked under the mentorship of Cale Kassel, MD, and Trevor Wilke, MD, to observe the outcomes and adverse effects of liver transplant patients at Nebraska Medicine.

“Nate reached out to us looking for a project and we were able to come up with an idea. He took the ball and ran from there,” Dr. Kassel said. “He was diligent in getting the data collected and reviewing the statistics.”

His abstract, titled “Liver Transplant Outcomes and Mortality in Geriatric Patients 65 and Older Compared to Younger Recipients,” specifically focuses on patients at Nebraska Medicine.

“With the growing geriatric population (more than age 65), we have seen more of these patients receiving liver transplants. Patients with high health risks are thought to have worse outcomes,” Pester said. “We found that the mortality at 30 days and one year is similar between geriatric patients and younger transplant individuals here at Nebraska Medicine.”

“We know generally that liver transplants in older patients are generally safe and our research adds to that evidence,” Dr. Kassel said. “It should give transplant programs confidence that age alone is not a contraindication to transplant.”

Pester plans to further explore research and clinical opportunities in anesthesiology following medical school. His previous research background was limited and he believes without the assistance of Drs. Kassel and Wilke, the project would not be where it is today. 

“I cannot thank Dr. Kassel and Dr. Wilke enough for their guidance and mentorship. They both have been amazing in helping me throughout the process of completing this project,” Pester said. “I am truly grateful to have not one, but two amazing mentors within my future specialty as I have progressed through medical school.”