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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
Friday, August 31, 2007
Transplant pioneer poses a question
Transplant pioneer Dr. Joseph E. Murray (left) is working on a second book about science and spiritual values, but he has a challenge for his former field.
In an interview in today's Vineyard Gazette, the 88-year-old Nobel laureate and author of "Surgery of the Soul" reflected on his long career, his love for Chappaquiddick and a current transplant question.
"We don't know why but when multiple tissues, say a limb with bone and muscle and tissue, are transplanted, each of the elements seem to aid in the healing rate of other elements at far greater rates than for skin transplant alone," he told the Gazette. "If I were a young doctor, that's where I'd concentrate. That work will be fruitful for 50 or 80 years," he said.
Murray performed the first successful kidney transplant in 1954 at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. A Globe retrospective describes the impact of that work.