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Transplant doc, Nobel winner Murray dies in Boston

10:34 PM, Nov 26, 2012   |    comments
Richard Herrick who received a kidney from his twin brother Ron (l-r), poses with the team of surgeons that performed the operation, Boston, Massachusetts
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By MARK PRATT / Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- A doctor who performed the world's first successful kidney transplant and won a Nobel Prize for his pioneering work has died in Boston. Dr. Joseph E. Murray was 93.

Brigham and Women's Hospital spokesman Tom Langford says he died there Monday. No cause of death has been announced.

Murray's son says he had unwavering optimism.

In the early 1950s, there had never been a successful human organ transplant. Murray and his associates at Boston's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital developed new surgical techniques after transplanting kidneys on dogs. In December 1954, they found the right human patients: a 23-year-old man with end-stage kidney failure and his identical twin.

After the operation, the sick twin had a functioning kidney transplanted from his brother. He lived another eight years, marrying a nurse he met at the hospital and having two children.

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