Molecular Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 227–232 | Cite as

A Journey in Science: The Birth of Organ Transplantation with Particular Reference to Alloengraftment Mechanisms

  • Thomas E. Starzl
Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine

I was born and raised in LeMars, Iowa (population 5,000). After graduating from high school and serving in the Navy (1944–1945), I earned a BA degree from Westminster College (Missouri) and MD and PhD degrees from Northwestern University (1947–1952). My PhD thesis in neurophysiology under the preceptorship of Horace W Magoun consisted of four interrelated articles (1, 2, 3, 4) that collectively continue to gather 5–10 citations per year after nearly 65 years (Web of Science, Thomson Reuters, Philadelphia, PA, USA).

After completing a 1-year surgical internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in June 1953, I suspended clinical training for 18 months to do an experimental study of complete heart block, a complication encountered with some of the first human open heart operations. After perfecting a model of heart block in dogs and elucidating its pathophysiology (5,6), I invented a safe method to treat the condition with repetitive low-voltage ventricular stimulation (7). After this...


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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