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Lasker-DeBakey Awards for Sir Roy Calne and Thomas Starzl

Morris, Peter; Monaco, Anthony

doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e31827cf41d
Editorials and Perspectives: Special Features

The authors declare no funding or conflicts of interest.

Centre for Evidence in Transplantation, The Royal College of Surgeons of England and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, London, United Kingdom.

Address correspondence to: Peter Morris, A.C., F.R.S., F.R.C.S.


Accepted December 20, 2012





Roy Calne and Tom Starzl have shared the Lasker-Debakey Clinical Research Award for 2012 for their pioneering work in the development of liver transplantation. Their experimental and clinical contributions need no repetition other than to affirm that, if it were not for the extraordinary persistence of these two transplantation pioneers in the face of early disappointments and failures, the development of liver transplantation to the widely applicable, life-saving procedure it is today may have been long delayed. The Lasker-DeBakey Award is made “to honor visionaries whose insight and perseverance have led to dramatic advances that will prevent disease and prolong life.” Tom Starzl and Roy Calne fit this description perfectly. This award identifies and affirms their multiple contributions—separate and equal—and, more importantly, underscores their unwavering commitment to their shared vision, their exceptional creativity and courage, and their refusal to fail. The entire transplantation community of patients and professionals alike is in their debt.

It is also worth noting that both Roy Calne and Tom Starzl served for many years on the editorial board of this journal, and both are past presidents of The Transplantation Society and previous recipients of the Medawar prize of the society.

The editors and readers of Transplantation offer their sincere congratulations to both Tom and Roy because this is an award that many would consider long overdue.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.