While grafting skin on wounded soldiers during World War II, Murray
observed that grafts were compatible only between identical twins. Thinking
that such might be the case for transplanted internal organs as well,
he experimented with kidney transplants in dogs. In 1954 he performed
a kidney transplant for an individual whose genetically identical twin
volunteered to donate a kidney; the recipient survived for several years.
Murray continued to search for ways of suppressing a patient's immune
system to keep it from rejecting genetically foreign parts. With the
use of immunosuppressive drugs, in 1962 he performed the first successful
kidney transplant using a kidney from a donor unrelated to his patient.
Eventually he was able to successfully transplant a kidney from a cadaver.
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