Liver transplant surgical pioneer Dr. Thomas Starzl dies at age 90

Published 10:03 am Monday, March 6, 2017

PITTSBURGH — Dr. Thomas Starzl, who pioneered liver transplant surgery in the 1960s and was a leading researcher into anti-rejection drugs, has died. He was 90.

The University of Pittsburgh, speaking on behalf of Starzl’s family, said the renowned doctor died Saturday at his home in Pittsburgh.

Starzl performed the world’s first liver transplant in 1963 and the world’s first successful liver transplant in 1967, and pioneered kidney transplantation from cadavers. He later perfected the process by using identical twins and, eventually, other blood relatives as donors.

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Since Starzl’s first successful liver transplant, thousands of lives have been saved by similar operations.