Portrait José Oberholzer

José Oberholzer
Prof. Dr. med.

Chief Physician, Chairman of the Department, Department of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation

Other functions at USZ

  • Rep: Visceral Surgery Transplantation Center


  • Tumor surgery of the abdomen, including liver, bile ducts and pancreas
  • Transplant surgery for adults and children (liver, pancreas, kidney, small intestine, islet cells, parathyroid tissue).
  • Robotically assisted minimally invasive surgery of the liver, bile ducts and pancreas, as well as kidney and pancreas transplantation


Tel. +41 44 255 33 00

Other competencies

  • Robotically assisted minimally invasive kidney and pancreas transplantation in obese patients
  • Complex abdominal surgery in patients who cannot receive blood transfusions
  • Treatment of chronic pancreatitis with pancreatectomy and autologous islet cell transplantation
  • Living donation of kidney, liver and small intestine for transplantation


Since 2023 Full Professor and Chairman of the Department of Visceral and Transplant Surgery, Head of the Section for HPB and Transplant Surgery, University of Zurich
since 2017 Associate Professor of Surgery and Medicine, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System
since 2004 Founder and coordinator of the Chicago Diabetes Project, an international collaboration for a functional cure for diabetes
2017 – 2022 Director of the Transplant Service Line (heart and VADs, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas), and the Charles O. Strickler Transplant Center; Chief, Division of Transplant Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
2007 – 2017 Director of the Transplant Program, Chief Resident in the Department of Transplantation and Full, Endowed C. & B. Frese and G. Moss Professor of Surgery, Bioengineering and Endocrinology, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Science System
2011 – 2013 Master’s degree in Healthcare Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
2002 – 2003 Fellowship in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery and Transplantation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (Prof. N. Kneteman and Prof. J. Shapiro). ASTS-accredited Fellowship Program
1998 – 2002 Head of the human islet cell transplantation program, Senior Physician at the Department of Visceral and Transplant Surgery, University of Geneva, Switzerland
1996 – 1998 Resident, Visceral and Transplant Surgery, Geneva University Hospital, Prof. Ph. Morel
1994 – 1996 Resident, General Surgery, Triemli City Hospital, Zurich, Prof. U. Metzger
1993 – 1994 Resident, General Surgery, Cantonal Hospital Uri, Altdorf, Dr. G. Burri
1993 – 1998 Surgical specialist training in Switzerland
1994 Dissertation at the University of Zurich, Dr. G. Uhlschmid and Prof. F. Largiadèr
1988 – 1992 Medical studies, University of Zurich

Most important memberships

  • Clinical Robotic Surgery Association (founding member, executive member, past President 2021)
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
  • American Surgical Association
  • American Society of Transplant Surgeons
  • The Transplant Society, and International Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association
  • American Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Medical Association
  • The Chicago Surgical Society
  • The Illinois Surgical Society

Research focus

  • Cell therapy for type I diabetes
  • Cell therapy for hypoparathyroidism
  • Cellular immunotherapies of solid abdominal tumors


  • Leads the international, philanthropic Chicago Diabetes Project for the cellular therapy of type I diabetes since 2004.
  • Founder of CellTrans Inc and co-founder of Sigilon Therapeutics.
  • On the Scientific Council of Trailhead Biosystems, Prolifagen, Sigilon Therapeutics and CellTrans Inc.
  • Advisor to AvengeBio, Otsuka and Vertex.

For patients

Judith Lögers
Department of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation
University Hospital Zurich
Raemistrasse 100
8091 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 255 87 54

For international patients

For an appointment for private consultation, please contact our International Office directly.

Tel. +41 44 255 54 54
Contact online

For referrer

To refer your patient for private consultation, contact us as follows:

Prof. Dr. med. José Oberholzer
Department of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation
University Hospital Zurich
Raemistrasse 100
8091 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 255 33 00