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In Memoriam: J. Wesley Alexander, MD

Jul 11, 2018

The American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) is deeply saddened by the passing of J. Wesley Alexander, MD, on July 7, 2018. He was 84.

A charter member of the ASTS, he served as the 15th President (1988-89), and during his presidency awards were expanded, training fellowships were better defined, and efforts to engage government agencies were successfully undertaken. He had previously served as ASTS Secretary (1985-1987) and Chair of the Publications and Programs Committee (1983-1985).

Dr. Alexander performed the first kidney and the first kidney/pancreas in Cincinnati in the late 1960s. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, then trained in general surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. There he developed a number of programs, including those related to pediatric burn care, bariatric surgery, and organ transplantation. He also established one of the first surgical immunologic research laboratories in the United States.

 Dr. Alexander led the Division of Transplantation at UC College of Medicine for more than 30 years. The program celebrated its 50th anniversary in December, with Dr. Alexander in attendance.

In 2008, Dr. Alexander was one of the first group of honorees for the ASTS Chimera Chronicles video project and recounted some of his recollections about the early days of transplantation. You can view his video here.

In addition to his service with ASTS, Dr. Alexander served as president of the Surgical Infection Society (1986-1987) and the American Burn Association (1984-1985). Among his many awards and honors was the Special Achievement Award from the American Burn Association in 2008 and the Distinguished Service Award from the Cincinnati Surgical Society in 2005.

He is survived by his wife, Maureen.

Services will be Friday, July 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church, 1345 Grace Ave., Hyde Park, Ohio.

For a full obituary, click here.