Samuel Lee Kountz an African American doctor and kidney specialist was born on this date in 1930. In 1959, Dr. Kountz participated in the first West Coast kidney transplant. Prior to the development of Dr. Samuel Lee Kountz’s technique of detecting and treating rejection of transplanted kidneys, less than five per cent of the transplant patients survived for more than two years. While in London on a surgery fellowship, Dr. Kountz discovered that committed cells of the host attacked and destroyed the small blood vessels of the transplanted kidney. The technique that he and his associates at Stanford Medical School developed permits doctors to watch the fall of the kidney blood supply following surgery and to administer specific amounts of drugs to the patient at carefully timed intervals to overcome the rejection process. In 1964, he received the outstanding Investigator Award from the American College of Cardiology.
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