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November 1990

Nobel Laureate: Joseph E. Murray, Clinical Surgeon, Scientist, Teacher

Author Affiliations

Atlanta, Ga

Arch Surg. 1990;125(11):1423-1424. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410230017001

On Monday, October 8, 1990, the Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons and the surgical community at large were elated by the announcement that the Nobel Committee had awarded the 1990 Prize for Medicine or Physiology to Joseph E. Murray, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass, and to E. Donnall Thomas, MD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, Wash, for their discoveries enabling organ and cell transplantation. Dr Murray performed the first successful transplantation of a kidney from a living donor in identical twins. Subsequently, he demonstrated the feasibility of cadaveric kidney transplantation by ameliorating the immune response initially with radiation and subsequently with drug therapy, notably azathioprine and steroids. Dr Thomas demonstrated that methotrexate likewise would ameliorate the graft-vs-host response in bone marrow transplantation. This work was the seminal research that not only established organ transplantation, a human dream from the time of

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