Speakers
INTERNATIONAL FACULTY

THOMAS STARZL

is a world-renowned transplant surgeon. He performed the firsthuman liver transplant in 1963 and was a pioneer in kidney transplantation. He has continued his pioneering work by helping to develop better drugs to make human organ transplants safer and more successful. Starzl has also contributed to the fields of general and thoracic surgery and neurophysiology.

Starzl accepted a position at the University of Colorado School of Medicine as an associate professor of surgery in 1962, believing it offered better opportunities to develop an active organ transplant program. In the late 1950s surgeons had begun to experiment with the first immune suppressive drugs to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted organ. As a consequence, transplantations became possible for the first time. Despite his interest in liver transplantation, Starzl considered a human liver transplant to be too risky given current knowledge of immunosuppression. On March 27, 1962, Starzl performed his first kidney transplant operation in Denver. Starzl was to achieve considerable success in kidney transplantation, but his real target was the liver, and he soon turned to that challenge.

During the 1970s and early 1980s Starzl's career reputation skyrocketed. He was promoted to professor of surgery at the University of Colorado in 1964 andwas made chairman of the department in 1972. During the late 1970s Starzl was wooed by the University of California at Los Angeles to move his transplantation program there. But he finally settled on the University of Pittsburgh and moved there in 1981. 

In the early 1980s the availability of cyclosporin, a new, superior drug to prevent organ rejection, was an encouraging sign to Starzl that the survivor rate for liver transplantation could be raised. However, bureaucratic roadblocks were in the way of using cyclosporin and other promising new drugs in organ transplant operations other than kidney transplantations because they wereconsidered by the federal government to be experimental. Starzl took the problem to the then-acting U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop . Koop suggested Starzl appear before a government committee at the National Institutes of Health that could approve the operation. Starzl assembled a group of children who had survived liver transplants performed in the 1970s and early 1980s. Theyserved as witnesses to the value of the operation, and after much testimonythe committee approved liver transplantation as a service to mankind.

Starzl also enhanced his fame by directing a series of multiple-organ transplants in these years. In 1984 a young child received a heart and liver in a single operation, while a young woman received a heart, liver and kidney in 1986. Starzl's attempts to transplant baboon livers into human patients remainedcontroversial into the late 1980s, however. He had experimented with such transplantations since the early 1960s, performing the first successful one in1989. The patient was dying from hepatitis B, to which baboon livers do not appear to be susceptible. Although the operation was initially successful, a surgical error caused a fatal infection some three weeks later. Although somepeople objected to the use of animals for "spare parts," a major controversyarose over the fact that the patient had been HIV positive. Virtually all medical centers take the position that organ transplants, which require a suppression of the immune system, are inappropriate for patients who have been infected with the virus that also attacks the immune system.

Starzl haswritten hundreds and hundreds of scientific papers, averaging fifty papers a year during the 1980s.

 
HENRI BISMUTH

As a pioneer and renowned international expert in the Hepatobiliary field in the early 70's, Pr. Henri Bismuth was one of the few surgeons in the world (and the first in France) to launch a hepatic transplantation programme.

In 1993, he set up the Hepatobiliary Center at the Paul Brousse Hospital in Villejuif - an innovative dedicated liver disease center. Its main mission is to provide global care for patients with bile duct and liver disorders. Patients can receive complete clinical management from the same multidisciplinary team. As the first transplant center in France and among the first one in Europe, it has gained national and international renown.

Throughout his career, Henri Bismuth has helped to set up and to develop new liver transplant techniques such as the split liver technique which allows two patients to be transplanted with only one liver. He is also committed to transmitting his savoir-faire by training surgeons from Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

A member of the Academie Nationale de Chirurgie, Henri Bismuth has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Turin, Porto, Coimbra, Warsaw and honorary membership from the American College of Surgeons, the American Surgical Association and from many international medical societies.

       

MASATOSHI MAKUUCHI

is president of the Japanese Red Cross Medical Center, president of the International Association of Surgeons, Gastroenterologists and Oncologists (IASGO) and honorary professor of the University of Tokyo. As a pioneer and a recognized international expert in the field of HBP surgery, Dr. Makuuchi throughout his career, has taken initiatives in developing methods of perioperative managements such as ultrasound guided PTC, BTBD, GB drainage, PVE, intermittent hemihepatic inflow occlusion, warm ischemia in living donor and surgical techniques such as subsegmentectomy, and inferior hepatic vein preserving hepatectomies, contributing to establishing techniques for safe surgical operation.

 
   
LESLIE BLUMGART

Leslie Harold Blumgart (1931- ) was St Mungo Professor of Surgery at the University from 1972 until 1979.

Born in South Africa, Blumgard graduated BDS from Witwatersrand University in 1954. He subsequently studied at the University of Sheffield, graduating MB, ChB and MD, and was Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Department of Surgery at the Welsh National School of Medicine from 1970 until his appointment to the St Mungo Chair.

Blumgard left Glasgow in 1979 to become Professor of Surgery at the Royal Postgraduate School of London and Director of Surgery at Hammersmith Hospital. He was Professor of Surgery at the University of Bern from 1986 until 1991, when he became Enid A Haupt Professor of Surgery at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York (he was appointed Chief of the Section of Hepato-Biliary Surgery and Director of the Programme on Hepato-Biliary Diseasesin 1995). He has been Professor of Surgery at the Cornell University Medical Center since 1992.

PAUL McMASTER

is a medical surgeon who worked in several African countries before joining Doctors without Borders (MSF). In 2008, Dr McMaster worked for the MSF Operational Centre in Amsterdam as a specialist surgical advisor and developed strategic and operational plans. During his work with MSF, he led emergency surgical teams in disaster/conflict environments such as Sri Lanka and Haiti.  

He is currently Chairman of MSF in the UK.

 
ENRIQUE MORENO GONZALEZ

 
YURI NIMURA