CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) presented Christian P. Larsen, M.D., D.Phil., an Atlanta-based transplant surgeon and immunologist, with the 2021 Scientific Achievement Award for his pioneering work that reshaped the field of transplantation. Established in 1960, the Scientific Achievement Award is presented by the AMA to individuals in recognition of outstanding work that has fostered scientific discovery into improved clinical care.

Dr. Larsen was chosen by the AMA for his exceptional work that reshaped medicine’s understanding of the complex balance between immune tolerance and rejection in transplant patients. His profound contributions to the field of transplantation turned novel scientific discovery into treatment that is used as the standard of care to prevent rejection in human transplantation.

“Discovery and innovation are key drivers in transforming patient care and Dr. Larsen’s groundbreaking career has fundamentally changed contemporary transplant surgery and opened new paths for surgeons around the world to help their patients,” said AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, M.D. “His expertise in transplant immunology have enabled patients to obtain life-saving organ transplants and prevented the long-term and life-threatening complications due to rejection.”

Among the seminal contributions to transplant immunology that have made Dr. Larsen an internationally recognized leader in the field was life-changing research his team conducted that played a pivotal role in developing a new class of immunosuppressive drugs known as co-stimulation blockers, which are effective in preventing tissue rejection.

Dr. Larsen is currently the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Professor of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. He is also co-director of the Emory Transplant Center in Atlanta, executive director of the Kennedy Initiative for Transforming Care, and deputy director for transplantation at the Immune Tolerance Network co-sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. He received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine and completed his postdoctoral medical training at Emory.

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The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.