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ASTS Pioneer Award 2016


The ASTS Pioneer award is the most distinguished award bestowed upon an individual by the ASTS for a significant contribution to the field of transplantation.  (Previous Award Recipients)

Dr. Oscar Salvatierra
Oscar Salvatierra, Jr., MD
Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Emeritus
Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Oscar Salvatierra accepts ASTS Pioneer Award
Dr. Oscar Salvatierra is Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Emeritus, and has served as an Advising Dean at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He obtained his B.S. from Georgetown University, his M.D. from the University of Southern California, did a urology/surgery residency at USC-LA County Medical Center and a transplant surgery fellowship at UCSF. Most of his professional career has been spent at UCSF (Chief, Transplant Service) and Stanford University (Director, Pediatric Kidney Transplantation).

Dr. Salvatierra has over 300 publications in the medical literature which include: introduction of pretransplant donor-specific blood transfusions (DSTs); characterization of hemodynamic, morphologic and genetic changes with the transplantation of adult-sized kidneys (ASKs) into infants and small children; demonstration of long-term immunologic protection of ASKs transplanted into infants; introduction of complete steroid-free immuno-suppression for children; development of management strategies for severe congenital structural abnormalities of the urinary tract followed by transplantation.

Dr. Salvatierra has served as President of 5 national and international transplant professional societies, including the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, The Transplantation Society, and the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS). He worked 2 years with former Vice-President Albert Gore to draft the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA), which established the infrastructure of the U.S. organ transplantation system, authorized the creation of regional Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs), and provided for a central National Registry for ongoing evidence-based research and future policy direction. This is the only time that Congress has enacted legislation to establish the framework for the infrastructure of a medical specialty. NOTA thus provides for a unique private/public partnership that has brought together 257 autonomously operating transplant centers under the UNOS umbrella and is further operationally bolstered by 58 regional OPOs. This organizational structure has collectively assured fiduciary responsibility to protect all donated organs for the public to which they belong, and has functionally promoted maximum utilization and equitable distribution of all organs for transplantation.

Dr. Salvatierra chaired the NIH National Advisory Board for kidney and urologic research. He was the first Governor elected to represent organ transplantation in the American College of Surgeons. He chaired the Stanford Medical School Faculty Senate. He was the Faculty Leader for the successful 2005 8-year LCME recertification process for the Stanford University Medical School. He introduced Pope John Paul II for his encyclical on organ transplantation and donation in Rome in the year 2000.

Dr. Salvatierra’s honors include: Knighthood by the Republic of Italy, the Presidential Medal from the President of Argentina, a Special Commendation Resolution by the California State Legislature, the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for Public Service, a Special Recognition Award by the UCSF Chancellor, Stanford’s Rambar-Mark Award as Clinician of the Year and Stanford’s Franklin Ebaugh Award for Medical Student Advising. Stanford’s Oscar Salvatierra Annual Lectureship in Transplantation has been named after him. He was the winner of the 2007 Albion Walter Hewlett Award, Stanford’s highest award for a clinician-scientist, for being the “epitome of the academician dedicated to discovery in the biological sciences and to the sensitive and scientific application of such new knowledge in the effective treatment of human disease.” He was only the 5th surgeon to receive this award since its inception in 1983. He is the recipient of the National Kidney Foundation’s Lifetime Champion of Hope Award. On the 50th anniversary of the first successful organ transplant, he was named one of 12 International Pioneers in Transplantation. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. He served in the U.S. Army as a urologist/surgeon in the Vietnam War, was a volunteer surgeon at a Vietnamese hospital treating Vietnamese war victims and was subsequently appointed by the U.S. Federal Court to the National Advisory Board that administered the Agent Orange litigation settlement.