Andreas Tzakis, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Liver and Gastro-Intestinal Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. A world renown transplant surgeon and researcher, Dr. Tzakis has long collaborated with the Diabetes Research Institute.
Dr. Tzakis is the founding Director of the Miami Transplant Institute which focuses its research on immune tolerance, the immune-biology of organ and tissue transplantation, and improving organ and tissue preservation techniques.
In addition to being an accomplished liver transplant surgeon, Dr. Tzakis has been a principal contributor to the development of small bowel and multiple-organ transplantation as a viable procedure for both children and adults. He is currently working with DRI investigators to test the use of Regulatory T cells and other strategies to induce a state of immune tolerance in transplant recipients.
A native of Greece, Dr. Tzakis attended the University of Athens Medical School and served in the medical corps of The Greek Air Force before coming to the United States in 1977. He spent the next six years as a resident, first at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and then at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
In 1979, Dr. Tzakis became a surgical fellow at the University of Pittsburgh under the direction of the legendary Dr. Thomas E. Starzl. While at Pittsburgh, he performed numerous pioneering surgeries, among them the world's first successful islet transplant from a single pancreas in collaboration with Drs. Camillo Ricordi, Daniel Mintz, and Rodolfo Alejandro from the DRI.
Author or co-author of more than 400 papers, Dr. Tzakis is a member of several professional organizations and has often lobbied Congress and the national organ donor network to place more emphasis on patient need, and less on geographical boundaries in deciding how to allocate life-saving organs.