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Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology

2015 Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology

John J. Fung, MD, PhD,
is the recipient of the 2015 Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology. Dr. Fung is professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University. He is chair of the Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and medical director of Allogen Laboratories. He will deliver the Starzl Prize Lecture, “Evolution of Liver Transplant Immunosuppression,” at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, in Lecture Room 6, Scaife Hall.

Dr. Fung completed a transplantation surgery fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh under Dr. Starzl. He was appointed to the Department of Surgery in 1988, became director of transplantation research at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute in 1989, and was named the inaugural Thomas E. Starzl Professor of Transplantation Surgery in 2000. As a transplant immunologist and surgeon, Dr. Fung’s experience in kidney, liver, pancreas, islet, and intestinal transplantation spans more than three decades. Under Dr. Starzl, Dr. Fung helped explore and develop clinical use of FK-506, or Tacromilus, an immunosuppressive drug that became critical for immunosuppressive therapy in transplantation. He also directed studies to further treatment of allograft rejection.

Dr. Fung has published more than 950 scientific articles on transplantation immunology, immunosuppressive therapy, organ allocation, and other topics. He is past editor in chief of Liver Transplantation. His awards include the Transplantation Society-Roche Award for Worldwide Impact in Transplantation, the International Liver Transplantation Society Distinguished Service Award, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons’ Francis Moore Excellence in Mentorship Award, among others. Dr. Fung received his BA in biology from Johns Hopkins University and his MD and PhD degrees in immunology from the University of Chicago in 1982. He completed a surgical residency at the University of Rochester before coming to Pitt.

The Thomas E. Starzl Prize honors the clinical and scientific contributions of Pitt’s transplantation icon, Thomas Starzl, MD, PhD. Recipients are national and international leaders and researchers who have significantly impacted the fields of organ transplantation and immunology. The prize was established in 1996 by Pitt’s Department of Surgery and was formerly known as the Annual Thomas E. Starzl Lectureship.