Department of Surgery

Dr. Thomas Starzl, World-renowned Transplant Surgery Pioneer, Dies at 90


With great sadness, we share news of the passing of Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD on March 4, 2017 at his home in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Starzl, Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery, was regarded as the “Father of Transplantation” for his role in pioneering and advancing the field of organ transplantation. His work has had an immense impact on the development of medicine throughout the second half of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries. He performed the first successful liver transplant in 1967. In 1981, Dr. Starzl came to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and led a surgical team to perform Pittsburgh’s first liver transplant and launch the only liver transplant program in the nation at the time. Over the course of his career, he received over 200 awards and honors, including membership in the National Academy of Science, the Lasker Award, and the Presidential National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor.

Please read more about Dr. Starzl’s life and legendary accomplishments at Pitt’s Official Dr. Thomas E. Starzl web site.

There will be a memorial service to honor Dr. Starzl on Saturday, March 11, 2017, 1:00 pm at the Heinz Memorial Chapel , University of Pittsburgh. This service is opened to the public.