News Releases

News Releases

For Immediate Release

Transplant Researcher and Surgeon Selected to Lead Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh's Prestigious Transplant Program

George V. Mazariegos, MD, is pioneering new approaches to liver transplantation

George V. Mazariegos, MD, a pediatric liver and intestine transplant surgeon, has been appointed director of pediatric transplantation at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Mazariegos, a transplant surgeon at Children's since 1996 and at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute since 1994, replaces Jorge Reyes, MD, who is leaving Children's to become Chief of Transplantation at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Mazariegos also will serve as director of pediatric transplantation at the Starzl Transplantation Institute. The change in leadership is effective July 1, 2004.

"Dr. Mazariegos will continue our pioneering approach to organ transplantation. He is working on important research, including novel approaches to immunosuppressive therapy, which is improving survival rates and the quality of life for transplant recipients." said Ronald L. Violi, president and CEO of Children's.

At Children's, Dr. Mazariegos and his colleagues have successfully weaned liver transplant patients off potentially toxic immunosuppressive medications without the use of steroids, which for decades have been used worldwide as standard treatment to prevent rejection following transplant surgery.

Furthermore, Dr. Mazariegos is developing blood tests that would help surgeons determine when a patient could be weaned from immunosuppression and also is coordinating the development of an artificial liver support system for children in liver failure.

These advancements will help Children's build on its reputation as a leading pediatric transplant center. In 1981, under the guidance of Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD, Children's established the first pediatric transplant center in the country. Two decades later, Children's has performed more than 1,600 transplants in children - more than any other pediatric center in the world.

"Children's already has achieved survival rates for transplant patients that are among the highest in the world," Dr. Mazariegos said. "Through clinical research, we want to continue improving the quality of life and survival rates for our patients by reducing and tailoring immunosuppresion to specific patient needs."

Dr. Mazariegos earned his medical degree at Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill. He served his residency in general surgery at Spectrum Health, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, Mich., and fellowships in surgical critical care and hepatic and multivisceral transplantation at the University of Pittsburgh.

Contacts:
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-5016, Marc.Lukasiak@chp.edu
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5016, Melanie.Finnigan@chp.edu

Last Update
February 19, 2008
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Last Update
February 19, 2008
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