Dr. Jerzy W. Kupiec-Weglinski, director of the Dumont-UCLA Transplantation Research Center and professor in the UCLA Department of Surgery, has been selected as the inaugural holder of the Paul I. Terasaki Chair in Surgery. On September 8, 2017, the department celebrated Dr. Terasaki’s gift and Dr. Kupiec-Weglinski’s appointment with a dinner at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills. The families of Drs. Terasaki and Kupiec-Weglinski, UCLA Health Sciences leadership and UCLA surgeons attended the event to honor the work of Drs. Terasaki and Kupiec-Weglinski.
The late Dr. Terasaki, who was professor emeritus of surgery in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was a pioneer in organ-transplant medicine. He developed the test that became the international standard method to assess the compatibility of organ donors and recipients. A long-time supporter of the campus, in 2010 he gave $50 million to the Division of Life Sciences in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. At the time, Dr. Terasaki’s gift was the largest ever given to the UCLA College and was among the largest received by the university. In recognition of the gift, UCLA named the new life sciences building the Terasaki Life Sciences Building. Dr. Terasaki died January 25, 2016, at the age of 86, but prior to his passing, he made a gift to endow the Paul I. Terasaki Chair in Surgery. This generous philanthropic contribution will be vital to the advancement of transplantation surgery techniques and research.