Sir Roy Calne, FRS, Professor Emeritus of Surgery at University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
I was a good friend and colleague of Paul for many years and contributed to his book on clinical transplants.
He and I met frequently at conferences all over the world, but we had close contact in Ahmedabad, India in 2009 relating to claims of tolerance in the clinic which were difficult to understand and in fact although Paul and I were very anxious to see success, this did not seem to be a reproducible clinical therapy which was very sad.
Of Paul’s many achievements, the most prominent that comes to my mind was his honesty in presenting negative data at the Transplantation Society’s meeting in Holland, resulting in his loss of grant support despite eventual general recognition that he was absolutely correct in the data he was presenting.
John Trowsdale, Professor of Immunology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
I came late into the HLA field, joining Walter Bodmer’s laboratory in Oxford in 1979. He tasked me with cloning HLA DNA molecules and Janet Lee and I set about this with enthusiasm and, in my case naivety, as my background was in bacterial genetics. I was shown the microcytotoxity tray and at the time I had no appreciation of how important this small piece of kit was to transplantation matching. I assumed that a big laboratory supply company had simply designed the tray as a stock piece of equipment, like they do test tubes. Only much later, when I read Paul’s account of the battles he fought to develop a simple miniaturised procedure that reduced use of scare reagents did I realise how revolutionary it had been. Many lives have been lengthened by HLA typing for transplantation, thanks to this little piece of plastic. I am continually reminded of Paul’s legacy in my everyday work, using One Lambda beads, for example. When I finally met Paul at a conference he was approachable and had interesting things to say in general, not just science. I would advise everyone to read Paul’s personal history of HLA.
Thalachallour Mohanakumar, Director, Norton Thoracic Research Institute, St Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ
My first interaction with Dr. Terasaki was during my tenure as a starting faculty at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV), Richmond, Virginia, my first job as a transplant immunologist and HLA laboratory director, under the leadership of Dr. H.M. Lee who was the Chief of Transplantation. At MCV, Drs. Lee and Hume have collected and frozen at -80C renal tissues from transplants which they have performed (pre-cyclosporine era) and undergone chronic rejection. I decided to elute antibodies from those kidneys to see whether there are any detectable antibodies. Results demonstrated not only antibodies to donor HLA but also antibodies reactive to endothelial cells. Manuscript submitted to International Transplantation journal demonstrating that antibodies may be involved in the pathogenesis of chronic rejection was not easily accepted since the dogma at that time was chronic rejection is mediated solely by cellular immune responses. After discussing the rejection of the manuscript from the journal with Prof. Lee, he suggested that I contact Dr. Terasaki and give the manuscript for his comments and advice. After discussing personally with Dr. Terasaki, he asked me to send the manuscript to him. Within a short time, he edited the manuscript and sent it back to me with a comment that this should be sent back to the journal for publication. I am sure that the acceptance of the manuscript subsequently in the journal Transplantation is not only due to his edits but also due to his personal involvement since he believed even then that antibodies may play a role in chronic rejection which turned out to be correct and proven in later years by Terasaki’s own work as well as many others. This also clearly demonstrates his foresight into the mechanisms for transplant rejection as well as willingness to help a junior colleague. My next interaction was at a much later part of my career wherein we demonstrated an important role for de novo developed antibodies to HLA in the pathogenesis of chronic rejection following human lung transplantation and potential benefit of removing anti-HLA in preventing chronic rejection. Dr. Terasaki called me on several occasion asking for details of our study and also suggested future experiments which lead to identification of an important role for immune responses to tissue restricted self-antigens in the immune-pathogenesis of chronic rejection in addition to alloimmune responses. I had the pleasure of presenting our work on immune responses to tissue restricted self-antigens (autoimmunity) upon invitation during the Terasaki Festschrift in 2014 and he congratulated me for our studies and suggested that these self-antigens should be put on the Luminex beads so that it can be used clinically. One of the highlights of my career was to receive the Paul Terasaki Clinical Science Award in 2013 from the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics and my memories of the pioneer in transplantation continue.