January 8th 2024

OrganOx Honours the Life of Sir Roy Calne – Pioneer in Transplant Medicine

We are very sad to note the death of Sir Roy Calne who passed recently at age 93. Roy was one of the founding fathers of modern transplantation and a pioneer not only in surgical technique but also in the use of immunosuppressive treatments that have made organ transplantation such a successful medical therapy. 

Following appointment to the Chair of Surgery in Cambridge in 1965, Roy established his Department as a leading centre of expertise. He established a kidney transplant programme, carried out Europe’s first liver transplant in 1968, the world’s first combined heart-lung-liver transplant in 1986, and later the UK’s first intestinal and multi-visceral transplants. 

Roy’s early work led to the first effective immunosuppressive medications in the 1960s and later to cyclosporine, the drug which transformed transplantation in the 1980s. He was later instrumental in recognising the potential of Campath (now Alemtuzumab) and Rapamycin (now Sirolimus). 

OrganOx traces its roots back to the early experimental liver perfusion work carried out in Roy Calne’s Department of Surgery at Cambridge. We are honoured to have known him and extremely proud of our connection with his legacy.