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Milestones

Sixty years of milestones and innovations in transplant medicine

1957

David Hume, MD, performed the first organ transplant in Virginia – a kidney from one twin brother to another

1966

The world's first baby born to a mother who received a kidney transplant is born at MCV.

1967

Hume and H.M. Lee, MD, discover the clinical relationship of kidney rejection and histocompatibility matching (tissue typing) at MCV, a worldwide breakthrough that paves the way for long term patient and graft survival.

1968

  • Virginia's first liver transplant

  • Established one of the nation’s first transplant clinical training programs, has since trained over 300 surgeons .

  • Virginia's first human heart transplant is performed successfully at MCV by Richard R. Lower, M.D.

1969

MCV helps establish the Southeastern Organ Procurement Foundation, the precursor to UNOS

1972

In the landmark "Tucker Trial" — a case against MCV surgeons for using another man's heart for transplant, is dismissed and defines for the world the idea of "brain death"

1973

H.M. Lee, MD, becomes Chief of Transplantation after Hume’s death. Stays until retirement in 1994

1977

First long-distance transport of a deceased donor heart from Indianapolis to VCU, establishing precedence for national organ sharing

1984

As president of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Lee pushes the National Organ Transplant Act into federal law and establishes rigorous ethical standards for transplant candidate listing and transplant surgeons' minimum qualifications.

1993

World’s first liver cell transplantation as bridge to whole organ transplant. VCU becomes a world leader in liver cell transplantation

1998

World’s first living unrelated liver transplant, expanding the pool of potential donors for those waiting for a liver.

2002

VCU Health System Board officially names the transplant center the Hume-Lee Transplant Center

2013

First transplant program in the nation to receive silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

2016

Established the mid-Atlantic’s first robotic surgery program for living kidney donors

2017

Celebrating 60 years of excellence in transplant medicine