University of Pittsburgh surgeon receives Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Molecular Medicine announced today that the fourth Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine will be conferred to Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD, professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The award is in recognition of his research in organ transplantation and alloengraftment mechanisms.

The Cerami award, which includes a $20,000 prize, is conferred semi-annually by the editors of Molecular Medicine, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by the Feinstein Institute. A monograph authored by Dr. Starzl, entitled "A Journey in Science: The Birth of Organ Transplantation with Particular Reference to Alloengraftment Mechanisms," will be published on the Molecular Medicine website,, this Thursday, June 25.

"The Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine was established to recognize investigators who provided the crucial, early insight and ideas that are the essence of discovery. Creating new fields and research trajectories, followed by persistent clinical investigation, enables us to ultimately change how disease is prevented, diagnosed and treated," said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute, editor emeritus of Molecular Medicine and Cerami Award committee member. "Dr. Thomas Starzl's development of key surgical techniques during liver transplantation, discovery of microchimerism, and usage of therapies to thwart transplant rejection vastly improves the life expectancy of transplant recipients."

In his monograph, Dr. Starzl describes his accomplishments during his early research experiences in both neuroscience and cardiac physiology, and how it "epitomized the two ends of the spectrum within which I labored all the rest of my professional life: a search fat one extreme for fundamental biologic mechanisms and at the other for practical remedies with which to treat human diseases." He continued, "After I returned to surgical resident duties (1954-1959), a stage large enough to accommodate both kinds of activity emerged from my new interest in the liver, its double blood supply and ultimately its transplantation."

"Receiving the Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine is a distinguished honor-Dr. Cerami is a pioneer in the field of molecular medicine and I am privileged to accept an award that is named after him," said Dr. Starzl. "My journey in human organ transplantation has been an exciting one. Additional advancements in transplantation tolerance are still needed, and I am looking forward to seeing what future scientists can uncover.

The Feinstein Institute is committed to celebrating the stewardship of the scientific process and imparting that perspective to young scientists. The Feinstein Institute also recognizes that the story behind making a discovery in medicine and healthcare is cherished and should be documented. The goal of the Cerami Award and its associated monographs is to document such innovations and discoveries, so that they can endure and inspire future generations of investigators.

The Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine was made possible by the generosity of Dr. Cerami and Ann Dunne Foundation for World Health. Dr. Cerami's breakthrough translational work includes the identification of anti-TNF's potential to treat a number of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, and the development of the HbA1c Diagnostic Test, currently the gold standard for the diagnosis and control of diabetes. He is currently working on a potential treatment of diabetes as CEO of Araim Pharmaceuticals.


North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System


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