Thomas Starzl elected to science academy

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Transplant pioneer Thomas E. Starzl has added another award to his long list with election to the National Academy of Sciences, which recognizes distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Dr. Starzl, 88, a distinguished service professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, is recognized as the “father of transplantation” who performed the first successful liver transplant in 1967, is credited with developing kidney transplantation into an effective procedure, and performed the first heart-liver transplant in 1984. He also introduced four commonly used immunosuppressive drugs for clinical transplantation that are used for all types of organ transplants.

Last month, Dr. Starzl also was awarded the Hepatitis B Foundation’s 2014 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize, the highest scientific honor the foundation confers.

“Not only has his work been among the most important in the field, but his contributions to saving the lives of hepatitis B patients through liver transplantation, in particular, continue to inspire all of us as we push toward the discovery of a cure,” said Timothy Block, foundation president and a professor at Drexel University College of Medicine.

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