Successful Kidney Transplant
Brigham & Womens Hospital 1954

Dr. Joseph Murray of the Harvard Medical School performed the first successful human kidney transplant in 1954 at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now Brigham and Women's). At that time, the risk of immunorejection by implanted organs was incredibly high, so attempts at organ transplantation were last resorts. By transplanting the kidney of one twin to another, Dr. Murray sidestepped the problem of organ rejection and saved a young man's life. Murray went on to develop immunosuppressive treatments to combat the problem of organ rejection.

Today, organ transplants have become almost a regular occurrence, and artificial organs are being developed to replace human organs for patients in need. In 1990, Dr. Murray received the Nobel Prize for his work in transplantation.