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July 9, 2001

$20M gift to fund lung transplant center

By Holly Korschun


Emory’s extensive organ transplantation programs took a giant step forward in June with the creation of the Andrew McKelvey Lung Transplantation Center. The center is made possible through a gift from the founder and CEO of TMP Worldwide, a leading provider of global recruitment solutions (including the Internet career portal and the world’s largest yellow pages advertising agency.

Andrew McKelvey’s $20 million gift—his largest charitable gift to date—also funds the creation of the Augustus J. McKelvey Chair in Lung Transplantation Medicine, in honor of his late father, a general medical practitioner. The School of Medicine’s nomination for the first recipient is Clinton Lawrence, professor of medicine and medical director of lung transplantation. Lawrence also will direct the McKelvey Lung Transplantation Center.

In addition, McKelvey’s gift creates a research fund to recruit and support at least five new faculty in basic and clinical sciences related to lung disease (including those possibly leading to lung transplantation as therapy) and to improving the clinical outcomes of lung and other transplant recipients. These faculty will be known as McKelvey Young Investigators. The gift will enable Emory to bring to campus each year a distinguished leader in transplantation or pulmonary medicine as the McKelvey Visiting Professor.

“This is truly a visionary gift,” said Michael Johns, executive vice president for health affairs. “Mr. McKelvey’s understanding of the potential of the science now at hand, matched with his generosity, will enable us to provide increased emphasis to one of the most challenging transplant organs. His gift will fast-track some extraordinary research now under way at Emory to help transplant patients develop immune tolerance to their transplanted organs.”

Emory’s is the oldest, largest and most comprehensive transplantation program in Georgia. The University’s lung transplant program, the only one in Georgia, has performed 71 transplants at Emory Hospital since it performed the state’s first such procedure in 1993, with survival rates comparable to the national one- and three-year survival rates of 72 percent and 61 percent, respectively.

Under the leadership of Emory Transplant Center Director Christian Larsen and transplant surgeon Tom Pearson, Emory is becoming a leader in the new field of immune tolerance research, an effort to help transplant recipients accept donor organs without threat of rejection—and without the need for daily immunosuppressant medicines.

“We are delighted that Andy McKelvey, through his generosity and vision, is providing the means for Emory’s lung transplantation program to fulfill its twin missions of improving the outcomes following lung transplantation while offering novel medical therapies for complex lung disorders,” Lawrence said. “I would be especially honored to hold the Augustus J. McKel-vey Chair in Lung Transplantation Medicine and look forward to teaming with Drs. Larsen and Pearson in applications of immune tolerance research to lung transplantation.”

School of Medicine Dean Thomas Lawley said the gift will “up the voltage of an already high-voltage Emory Transplant Center.”

“We anticipate great synergy between Dr. Lawrence, Dr. Larsen, Dr. Pearson and their colleagues—and the new McKelvey Young Investigators and the McKelvey Visiting Professor,” Lawley said.



Back to Emory Report July 9, 2001