historic transplant surgery by Dr MurrayDr. Joseph E. Murray, the Nobel laureate who conducted the world’s first successful organ transplant, died Monday at the Boston hospital where the pioneering surgery was performed.

On Dec. 23, 1954, in Operating Room 2 of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Dr. Murray took the healthy kidney of Ronald Herrick and sutured it into the donor’s dying identical twin, Richard. With that 5½-hour operation, Dr. Murray and his team saved a life and opened medicine to a new frontier.

Within a decade, Dr. Murray’s clinical work and his collaboration with scientists on drugs to prevent rejection of donor organs had expanded the pool of transplant candidates beyond identical twins. Dr. Murray was also credited with the first successful transplantation of a kidney from a nonidentical twin and from a cadaver.

But the doctor led a fascinating life outside of science, as well.

(READ the powerful tribute in the Boston Globe)

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