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April 1, 2003

La Salle University Honors Pioneering Transplant Surgeon with 2003 Holroyd Award; Holroyd Lecture Given by Leading Bioethicist

Aaron D. Bannett, M.D.
Aaron D. Bannett, M.D., a pioneer in organ transplant surgery, received the 2003 Holroyd Award from La Salle University, his alma mater, on Friday, March 28. The award given annually to a graduate who makes a significant contribution to medicine.

A 1946 graduate of Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine, Dr. Bannett was one of the first physicians in Philadelphia to perform liver and pancreas transplants more than 35 years ago.

One of his most significant contributions was developing procedures to perform transplants whose blood type didn't match the donor (this was the cause of a recent fatality in North Carolina). After retiring from surgical practice at Albert Einstein Medical Center, he traveled the world teaching surgery.

He was a founder of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, and also President and founder of the Delaware Valley Transplant Program (now called the Gift of Life Donor Program), a regional organization dealing with kidney transplants.

In 1966, Dr. Bannett was named Director of the Organ Transplant Program at Albert Einstein Medical Center, a post he held until 1989. In 1984 he founded The Bannett Transplant Institute in Philadelphia.

At 79, Dr. Bannett still takes an active interest in medicine: he recently completed a study for the Delaware Valley Organ Bank on the possibility of transplanting animal organs in humans. For the past three years, he has been a volunteer faculty member at Jefferson Medical College, teaching first-year medical students once a week.

Also on March 28, the 2003 Holroyd Lecture was given by Edmund Pellegrino, M.D., one of the nation's leading researchers in bioethics, who discussed "Medical Ethics in an Era of Moral Pluralism." The lecture is given annually about a timely issue in medicine.

Dr. Pellegrino was graduated from St. John's University and New York University's School of Medicine. He is the author, co-author or editor of 24 books, many dealing with the philosophical and humanistic aspects of practicing medicine. He has received 45 honorary doctoral degrees.

From 1978 until 1982 he was President and Professor of Philosophy and Biology of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Since 1983, he has been affiliated
with the Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he currently is Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics at the school's Center for Clinical Bioethics, a center that he founded.

The award and lecture are named after Dr. Roland Holroyd (1986-1985), a biology teacher who taught at La Salle from1920 until his retirement in 1973, when he became the first La Salle professor to be granted the title of "emeritus." La Salle's science building was dedicated as the Roland Holroyd Science Center.