Skip Navigation

Faculty Profile

Chris Larsen, MD, DPhil

Christian P. Larsen, MD, DPhil

Professor of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Affiliate Scientist, Yerkes Primate Research Center





American Board of Surgery

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member



Dr. Larsen has made seminal contributions to the investigation of the immunologic mechanisms of transplant rejection and immunologic tolerance and is an internationally recognized leader in kidney and pancreas transplantation. He has been funded continuously by the NIH since 1996. The recipient of a prestigious NIH MERIT award, he has directed program project grants, center awards, and multi-institutional consortia.

With his long-time collaborator Dr. Thomas Pearson, Dr. Larsen initiated a transplant immunology research program that has played a pivotal role in developing a new class of immunosuppressive drugs known as costimulation blockers. One such drug is belatacept, which Dr. Larsen, Dr. Pearson, and researchers at Bristol Myers Squibb began developing in the 1990s as a less toxic alternative to standard immunosuppressants. In June 2011 the FDA approved belatacept in the form of the drug Nulojix for kidney transplant recipients. In 2015, the BENEFIT study, which was initiated in 2006 and led by Dr. Larsen and UCSF transplant specialist Dr. Flavio Vincenti, conclusively showed that belatacept had a better record of patient and organ survival than a calcineurin inhibitor.

In 2012 Dr. Larsen received an NIH grant for nearly $20 million to lead teams of multiple investigators attacking the problems of immunosuppression from different but complementary angles. The connective focus is continued development of more effective co-stimulation blockers for near-term treatment of transplant patients and better strategies for the "holy grail" of transplantation—long-term, true immune tolerance of transplanted organs.

Dr. Larsen began serving as executive director of the Emory Transplant Center in 2008 and chair of the Department of Surgery at Emory in 2009. He left both positions in January 2013 to serve as dean of the Emory University School of Medicine. In November 2016, he stepped down as dean to return to his clinical practice and research program.


View Dr. Larsen's publications in PubMed.


Medical School

Postgraduate Training

Honors and Awards

Current Organizational Memberships

Clinical Specialties

Research Interests

««return to top