University of Pittsburgh
April 20, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, April 21 -- Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, known internationally for his work in transplantation, will be the main speaker at the University of Pittsburgh's 1999 commencement ceremonies beginning at 2 p.m., Monday, May 3, in the Pittsburgh Civic Arena.

While on the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Starzl performed the world's first human liver transplant in 1963 and the first successful liver transplant in 1967.

Starzl joined the UPMC Health System as a professor of surgery in 1981. Until recently, he served as chief of transplantation services at Presbyterian Hospital (now UPMC Presbyterian), Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Pittsburgh, overseeing the largest and busiest transplant program in the world. He now directs the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1992 and 1993, Starzl's team made medical history when surgeons performed two baboon-to-human liver transplants. Starzl himself had performed baboon kidney and chimpanzee liver transplants between 20 and 30 years ago.

Starzl has received more than 150 honors and awards, including an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1993.

Starzl's national and international involvement includes membership in more than 56 professional and scientific organizations. In 1992, he was inducted as one of only five American members into the prestigious National French Academy of Medicine. He belongs to the editorial boards of 21 professional publications and has authored or co-authored more than 2,080 scientific articles, four books and 282 chapters.

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