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dc.contributor.authorPark, Hyung Wooken_US
dc.identifier.citationPark, H. W. (2024). Joseph E. Murray’s struggle to transplant kidneys: failure, individuality, and plastic surgery, 1950-1965. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 79(2), 143-162.
dc.description.abstractThis paper offers a historical analysis of the American plastic surgeon and Nobel laureate Joseph E. Murray’s kidney transplantation. After succeeding in the first kidney transplantation between monozygotic twins in 1954, he transplanted kidneys between genetically distinct people after X-radiation and immunosuppressants. Amid these achievements, however, Murray encountered numerous failures, which he thought were closely intertwined with each patient’s physiological and pathological individuality. As he appropriated his expertise in plastic surgery for kidney transplantation, this individuality became a major issue that he had to cope with in his efforts to avoid failures. To him, kidney transplantation could fail because of each individual’s immunological barrier or constitutional singularity that could engender unexpected complications. Although he could neither explain nor control many of these failures, I argue that his unsuccessful work and patient individuality played multiple roles in shaping his operations as a plastic surgeon. They structured the path of his surgical research, made sense of it, defended him from criticism, and formed the way that he presented the results of his work with an immunological implication. Consequently, Murray, with little scientific training, articulated an important dimension of immunological tolerance relevant to clinical settings.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipMinistry of Education (MOE)en_US
dc.relationRG 74/14en_US
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciencesen_US
dc.rights© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the copyright holder. The Version of Record is available online at
dc.subjectArts and Humanitiesen_US
dc.subjectMedicine, Health and Life Sciencesen_US
dc.titleJoseph E. Murray’s struggle to transplant kidneys: failure, individuality, and plastic surgery, 1950-1965en_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen
dc.contributor.schoolSchool of Humanitiesen_US
dc.description.versionSubmitted/Accepted versionen_US
dc.subject.keywordsJoseph E. Murrayen_US
dc.subject.keywordsKidney transplantationen_US
dc.subject.keywordsPlastic surgeryen_US
dc.subject.keywordsImmunological toleranceen_US
dc.description.acknowledgementThis work was supported by the Academic Research Fund Tier-1 of the Ministry of Education in Singapore (RG 74/14).en_US
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