Paul Terasaki

Class of 1950, MS 1952, PhD 1956

He Gave 1 Million People A Second Chance.

Millions of lives have been saved as a result of Paul Terasaki’s brilliant innovation in matching organ donors with organ recipients. But not too long before he made his groundbreaking discovery, a young Terasaki was among the many Japanese Americans sent by the government to live in internment camps during World War II. Only a few years after war’s end, Terasaki enrolled at UCLA, which began an association that spanned more than six decades. In 1964, while director of UCLA’s tissue typing lab, Terasaki devised a procedure to evaluate the compatibility of organ donors and organ recipients. The method, now the international standard for tissue typing, has been used in more than 1 million transplants. His philanthropy enhanced the campus immensely including most recently the state-of-the-art Terasaki Life Sciences Building. Paul Terasaki is remembered for his ingenuity and generosity, and for paving a path for others to follow — to pursue innovation and to make advancements that propel science forward.

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Paul Terasaki

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