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Division of Transplantation

Transplant Program Timeline

The Health Science Center has performed more than 3,000 transplants since its inception. To enjoy the Transplant Timeline in a Flash movie, click on the dates in the lower part of the movie window.

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  • 1964: the Center opened the first federally funded dialysis clinic in the United States.
  • 1965: the first successful kidney transplant in an African-American in New York City occurred at Downstate Medical Center.
  • 1972: Dr. Samuel Kountz, the country's first African American transplant surgeon, founded Downstate Medical Center's kidney transplant program.
  • 1981: Downstate Medical Center became the first center in New York, and among the first in the country to use the anti-rejection drug Cyclosporine in kidney transplantation.
  • 1992: Downstate Medical Center performed the first successful combined kidney-pancreas transplant in New York State. This procedure is extremely important for people with Type I diabetes and kidney disease.
  • 1998 Downstate was the first transplant center in New York State to perform "dual" kidney transplants. This allows use of both kidneys from older deceased donors which may have otherwise not been useable.
  • 1998: Dr. Robert Furchott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Dr. Furchcott is a strong advocate of kidney transplantation and says of Dr. Kountz "He was a true pioneer in the science of transplantation. As Chairman of the Department of Surgery, and the first expert in kidney transplantation, he dramatically improved the success of kidney transplantation."
  • In 2000 Downstate was among the first transplant centers in the country to use the innovative laparoscopic surgical technique to remove kidneys from living donors. This results in minimal pain, scarring and time lost from work.