Professor of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
Affiliate Scientist, Yerkes Primate Research Center
American Board of Surgery
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.
Emory University Hospital
Emory University School of Medicine, Class of 1984
General Surgery Residency, Emory, 1985-1988, 1990-1991
Livingston Surgical Research Fellow, Nuffield Department of Surgery, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 1988-1990
PhD, Transplantation Immunology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 1990
Fellow in Transplantation Surgery, Emory, 1991-1993
Elected to Institute of Medicine, 2014
Emory Makers of History Award, Most Distinguished Faculty in first 175 years of Emory, 2011
Top Doctors, Atlanta Magazine, 2009-2012
America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly, 2010-2012
Emory School of Medicine Dean's Distinguished Faculty Lecture and Award, 2009
Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, 2007
TTS-Roche Award for Excellence in Translational Research, Transplantation Society, 2006
Roche Basic Science Established Investigator Award, American Society of Transplantation, 2004
Listed Among Emory's Distinguished Faculty for 2002-2003
Finalist, Healthcare Hero Award, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 2003
Dean's Clinical Investigator Award, Emory University School of Medicine, 2002-2003
Emory University Great Teacher's Lecture, 2002
Dean's Clinical Investigator Award, Emory University School of Medicine, 1999-2000
NIH Basic Science Award, American Society of Transplant Physicians, 1997
Who's Who in Science and Engineering, 1992-1994
Overseas Research Studentship, University of Oxford, 1988-1990
Henry Goodger Scholarship, University of Oxford, 1988-1990
British-American Research Fellowship of the American Heart Association, 1989-1990
Acting Clinical Lecturer in Surgery, University of Oxford, 1988-1989
Magna Cum Laude Graduate, Emory University School of Medicine, 1984
Alpha Omega Alpha, 1983
Phi Beta Kappa, 1979
American College of Surgeons, Fellow
American Society of Transplantation
American Society of Transplant Surgeons
The American Society for Clinical Investigation
Georgia Surgical Society
Institute of Medicine
Society of Clinical Surgery
The Society of University Surgeons
Southern Surgical Association
The Transplantation Society
Kidney and pancreatic transplantation
Investigations of the mechanisms involved in initiation and maintenance of T cell responses.
Development of new immunosuppressive strategies to prevent transplant rejection and preserve protective immunity.
Tightly linked projects and investigations that span basic, translational, and clinical research using murine, non-human primate, and human models.