Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Terasaki Medical Innovation award

Itai Ashlagi and I received the NKR Terasaki Medical Innovation award Monday evening at the American Transplant Congress meeting in Boston, for our work on kidney exchange algorithms for patient pools with highly sensitized patients.

"The Terasaki Medical Innovation Award will be presented annually to a medical professional who, through their pioneering work, has had a significant impact in advancing paired exchange transplantation and saving the lives of those facing kidney failure. "

Awards are nice for the recipients, but one can't help but be mpressed by the career of the scientist after whom the award is named, UCLA's Dr. Paul Ichiro Terasaki. Dr. Terasaki pioneered the tests used today to determine immunocompatibility, and built a business to make tools to implement those tests widely available.

Born in California in 1929, he and his family were interned with other Japanese-Americans during WWII. Later in life he donated $50 Million to UCLA, which named their Life Sciences building after him.

In short, he has had a storied scientific and American career.

Also receiving an award Monday evening was the non-directed altruistic donor Alexander Berger, about whom I blogged earlier: A kidney donor argues that selling kidneys should be legal, after he published a NY Times op-ed to that effect. (He's a 2011 Stanford philosophy grad, and he apparently worked with Debra Satz, although they disagree about whether kidney sales should be allowed.) Appropriately enough, he's currently working for an organization called Give Well, which works to identify charities that are "cost-effective, underfunded, and outstanding." He gave well himself, and started a nonsimultaneous extended altruistic donor (NEAD) chain of the kind NKR is famous for.

(I discussed the first NEAD chain here, and have posted about them frequently.)

The food was pretty good too.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

There were 4852 donors without health insurance information. hospital equipment