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New Directions for Organ and Tissue Transplantation

Allan D. Kirk, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Transplantation Section
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Medicine for the Public, October 12 at 7:00 p.m.  NIH Clinical Center

For some patients, an organ or tissue transplant means the difference between life and death. Even after their operations, however, these patients face another danger: tissue rejection.

Patients often need high doses of immunosuppressive drugs to prevent their bodies from rejecting their new tissues. But the unpleasant side effects of these drugs may cause patients to stop taking them, virtually ensuring tissue rejection.

Dr. Allan D. Kirk, a surgeon and specialist in transplantation, will speak about new ways to improve the success of organ and tissue transplantation. He began his undergraduate work at Boston University's School of Fine Arts and finished it at Old Dominion Universityís School of Sciences and Health Professions, earning a Bachelor of Science. He went on to Duke University, where he earned his medical degree and a doctorate in immunology.

Dr. Kirk joined the United States Navy in 1983 with an Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship. Currently, he serves as a Commander in the Medical Corps of the Naval Reserves. He did his internship and residency in surgery at Duke University, becoming its Chief Resident in Surgery. Later, he traveled to the University of Wisconsin, where he was a Fellow in Transplantation and a research scientist. Dr. Kirk continues his affiliation there as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery.

Since 1997, he has served as a principle investigator with the Naval Medical Research Center and as an attending surgeon with the Organ Transplant Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

In May of this year, he joined NIH as Chief of the Transplantation Section in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Dr. Kirk is the primary transplant surgeon for clinical trials being planned in the new NIH Organ/Tissue Transplant Research Center, which opened recently in the Clinical Center. Together with researchers from the Naval Medical Research Center, NIDDK, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he spearheads efforts to permit transplantation without chronic immunosuppression.

Dr. Kirk has authored or coauthored articles and book chapters on surgery and transplantation, and is a frequently invited lecturer at scientific symposia. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and an elected member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the American Society of Transplant Physicians, and the Transplantation Society.

Central to his work is the belief that tissue rejection can be reduced, so that patients need fewer immunosuppressive drugs and can enjoy more trouble-free lives.


For more information about the Clinical Center and its Medicine for the Public lecture series, contact CC Communications (, (301) 496-2563.

National Institutes of Health, Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland 20892. 7/99

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