Thomas E Starzl, pioneering liver surgeon, passes away

Dr Thomas E Starzl, a surgeon who performed the first successful liver transplant on a human patient, passed away on 4 March 2017 in Pittsburgh. He was 90. Dr Starzl’s death was announced by the University of Pittsburgh. He had been affiliated with the university since 1981.

Born on 11 March 1926, Thomas Earl Starzl was an American physician and researcher. He was an expert on organ transplants. He is often referred to as “the father of modern transplantation.”He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

In 1950, he earned a Master of Science degree in anatomy from the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. In 1952, he obtained a PhD in neurophysiology and an MD with distinction. After obtaining his medical degree, he trained in surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

He performed the first human liver transplant in 1963.  He performed the first successful human liver transplant in 1967. He performed both the transplants at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He performed the first simultaneous heart and liver transplant on six-year-old Stormie Jones in 1984.

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