Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, known as “the father of modern transplantation” for his groundbreaking work at the University of Colorado performing liver transplants, passed away at 90 years of age at his home in Pittsburgh. Dr. Starzl performed the first human liver transplant in 1963 and the first successful human liver transplant in 1967, both at the then CU hospital, “Colorado General Hospital”. During his career in Colorado, he also served as the director of surgery at the Denver Veterans Administration Hospital from 1962 to 1972.
He continued his transplantation work at the University of Pittsburgh as a professor of surgery and launched the first national, liver transplant program at Pitt. He spent a significant portion of his professional life studying organ rejection, identifying better ways to control that rejection and advancing new approaches to understanding disease processes.