Paul Terasaki, 86, transplant medicine pioneer, philanthropist, UCLA faculty member and alumnus

UC LOS ANGELES | Jean-Paul Renaud and Stuart Wolpert

Paul Terasaki, in 2010, in front of the Terasaki Life Sciences Building, which was funded by his generous donation.

Paul Ichiro Terasaki, who spent three years with his family in a Japanese–American internment camp during World War II before becoming a three-time UCLA graduate, a pioneer in organ transplant medicine and a long-time supporter of the campus, died January 25. He was 86.

Terasaki, professor emeritus of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, developed the test that became the international standard method for tissue typing. The procedure, which assesses the compatibility of organ donors and recipients, has been used for all kidney, heart, liver, pancreas, lung and bone marrow donors and recipients for the past 40 years.

In 1984, he founded One Lambda with eight of his former students; the company, which he sold in 2012, now has more than 270 employees and continues to play a central role in the advancement of tissue typing.

“The campus mourns the passing of one of UCLA’s most accomplished scientists and most generous benefactors,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “Paul brought great prestige to our university as a distinguished member of our faculty and through his legendary accomplishments in transplant medicine. Continue reading