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Surgical Reminiscence
April 2008

The Practice of Critical Care Surgery After Renal Transplant

Arch Surg. 2008;143(4):416-419. doi:10.1001/archsurg.143.4.416

In 1979, as a transplant immunology fellow in the surgery laboratory at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, I developed hematuria and renal colic. As an adoptee, I did not know my family history, but I soon learned I had a genetic renal disease, polycystic kidney disease.

Drs Richard L. Simmons and John Najarian had accepted me on the Minnesota transplant training grant and had sponsored my 2-year study of bone marrow cultures as a stem cell source for tolerance induction in transplantation. We had succeeded in keeping mouse bone marrow growing in vitro for up to a year and in fully reconstituting lethally irradiated mice. It was an exciting time in my life; there was tremendous clinical potential with what we were doing. Minnesota was a great place to combine research and learn about complex patient care. Trying to understand the effects of a life-limiting illness on my career was not part of my agenda.

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