UCLA NewsPaul Ichiro Terasaki, a pioneer in organ transplant medicine, will be awarded the UCLA Medal, the university's highest honor, at the UCLA College of Letters and Science commencement ceremony on June 15.
Terasaki, a professor emeritus of surgery who earned three degrees at UCLA, was the first to devise a method to perform "tissue typing" and to develop antibodies to be used in that procedure, which assesses the compatibility of organ donors and recipients. With eight former graduate students, he launched a company, One Lambda, in 1984 that has played a central role in the development and advancement of tissue typing.
The UCLA Kidney Transplant Registry, which was established by Terasaki in the 1970s, was the first and largest in the world until the establishment of federal registries.
"Dr. Terasaki is an outstanding scientist and inspirational role model who has contributed to UCLA's excellence and to society in so many ways, including his monumental accomplishments in transplant medicine," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "As I have come to know Dr. Terasaki, I have been inspired by his generosity and his humility. His vision and abiding belief in UCLA's continued excellence are truly exceptional."
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