U of M announces newly endowed John S. Najarian Surgical Chair in Clinical Transplantation
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (Nov. 27, 2007) – The University of Minnesota is announcing this week a newly funded endowed surgical chair for clinical transplantation. The chair is named for John S. Najarian, M.D., a surgeon and clinical educator who led the department of surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School for 25 years, ending in 1995, and established the program as a world leader in transplantation.
An endowed chair is the highest honor to recognize prominent faculty for contributions to their field. The John S. Najarian, M.D., Surgical Chair in Clinical Transplantation will enable the Department of Surgery to support the research and clinical pursuits of a full-time faculty member in transplantation.
Najarian’s colleagues, friends, and patients committed more than $1.5 million through the Minnesota Medical Foundation and the University provided $500,000 in matching funds to establish the chair.
“I am honored to have my name attached to this chair, and am most pleased that the recipient of the chair will ensure continued first-class leadership for our world-class transplant program,” said Najarian, clinical professor of transplant surgery.
Under Najarian, the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Surgery made significant advances in general surgery and transplantation, encouraging the use of living donors and offering organs to high-risk recipients turned down elsewhere. In 1982, Najarian and colleagues performed a liver transplant on 11-month-old Jamie Fiske, who has become the world’s longest-living pediatric liver recipient. The department he directed has now performed more than 7000 kidney transplants, more than 2000 pancreas transplants and hundreds of heart, liver, lung, islet, bowel, and combined transplants.
Najarian has received many national and international honors for his work over the years. In 1987, he became an honorary fellow in the Royal College of Surgeons of England, a distinction shared by only a few surgeons throughout the world. In 1998, he was elected to the presidency of the American Surgical Association. He served as president and vice president of the International Transplantation Society, as well as president of the International Pediatric Transplant Association. In 2003, Najarian received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Surgery on the 40th anniversary of its transplantation program. He received the 2004 Medawar Prize, awarded by the International Society of Transplantation and widely deemed the world’s preeminent award for outstanding achievements in organ transplantation.
Najarian received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, in 1952.
Molly Portz, Academic Health Center, 612-625-2640
Laura Stroup, Academic Health Center, 612-624-5680
The Academic Health Center is home to the University of Minnesota’s six health professional schools and colleges as well as several health-related centers and institutes. Founded in 1851, the University is one of the oldest and largest land grant institutions in the country. The AHC prepares the new health professionals who improve the health of communities, discover and deliver new treatments and cures, and strengthen the health economy.
About the Minnesota Medical Foundation
Founded in 1939, the Minnesota Medical Foundation raises millions of dollars annually for health-related education, research, and service at the University of Minnesota, with gifts supporting research, academic programs, faculty positions, scholarships, facilities and equipment purchases. Gifts directed to research fund studies related to public health, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, infectious diseases and other critical illnesses. For more information about the foundation, please call 612-625-1440 or visit www.mmf.umn.edu.