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Nicholas A. Halasz

Born 1931
Died 1999

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Hungarian-born American surgeon, born March 13, 1931, Budapest, Hungary; died July 16, 1999.

Biography of Nicholas A. Halasz

Nicholas A. Halasz was born in Budapest, Hungary, where he received his early education and graduated from Teachers College, before his family moved to the USA. He received a Sc.B. degree from Trinity College in 1950 and then studied medicine at Yale University, receiving his MD in 1954. From 1956 to 1958, Halasz, now a US citizen, served as a captain in the US Army at Fort Dix Army Hospital.

He then moved to California, where he joined the University of California and became an assistant professor of surgery in 1963. Soon afterwards he was promoted to associate professor. In 1967 he was a founding faculty member of the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, as professor of surgery and head of the Division of Anatomy. Halasz was also the first director of the UCSD Transplantation Program, and in 1968 he performed the first kidney transplant in San Diego.

Halasz described "his" syndrome in 1956, while working at the clinic for thoracic surgery at Yale University. He worked with Dr. Averill Abraham Liebow (1911-1978), one of the great thorax pathologists of this century, and Dr. Gustaf Lindskog (died 2002), one of the leading figures in modern thoracic surgery.

His first research concerned adult and paediatric thoracic surgery. He later devoted himself to transplant immunology and the storing of organs with the techniques of perfusion, cooling and freezing. Nicholas A. Halasz received numerous prizes. He died from cancer at the age of 68.


    "As a founding member of the UCSD School of Medicine, Dr. Halasz embodied all of the qualities that we value in our institution. He was dedicated to excellence in every endeavor - an enthusiastic teacher who was devoted to his students, a compassionate physician and surgeon, and a researcher who was constantly seeking to improve the outlook for his patients."
    Robert C. Dynes, UCSD chancellor

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