Alan Langnas, D.O., Appointed UNMC Chief of Transplantation

Alan N. Langnas, D.O., has been named professor and chief of transplantation for the University of Nebraska Medical Center department of surgery. Dr. Langnas succeeds Byers W. Shaw, Jr., M.D., who started the UNMC transplantation program in 1985.

Dr. Shaw was named chairman of the UNMC department of surgery earlier this year. Under Dr. Shaw’s direction, UNMC has become one of the top solid organ transplant centers in the country, performing nearly 2,500 solid organ transplants since the program’s inception.

As chief of transplantation, Dr. Langnas will oversee UNMC’s liver, kidney, pancreas and intestinal transplant programs. He will work closely with multidisciplinary teams of physicians and other healthcare professionals involved in treatment of organ failure.

Dr. Langnas, who grew up in Southfield, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his doctor of osteopathy degree from the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Mo. He did his internship and general surgery residency at Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich. Following this, he did one-year transplant surgery fellowships at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and at UNMC. Upon completion of his UNMC fellowship, Dr. Langnas, 40, was named assistant professor in UNMC’s surgery department. He was elevated to associate professor status in 1992 and to professor status in 1996.

Dr. Langnas has been doing liver transplants at UNMC since 1988 and was named director of UNMC’s intestinal transplant program in 1990 — one of the first such programs in the world. Over the past seven years, -over- he has performed more than 40 intestinal or intestinal/liver transplants, and the UNMC program has established itself as one of the top transplant centers in the world performing multiple organ transplants. He also maintains an active practice treating non-transplant hepato-biliary patients.

Dr. Langnas, who serves on the editorial boards of several medical journals, has written more than 100 research papers for medical journals and has been an invited speaker for numerous transplant conferences and forums. He has been active in several capacities with the United Network for Organ Sharing, the national organ allocation system in the U.S. As a leading authority in the transplantation field, Dr. Langnas was asked to testify three months ago at a national hearing in Washington, D.C. dealing with the allocation process for solid organs. As chief of transplantation, Dr. Langnas will head a team of six transplant surgeons.

In addition to Dr. Shaw, who will remain an active member of the transplant team under Dr. Langnas’ direction, other transplant surgeons are Ira J. Fox, M.D., Debra Sudan, M.D., Inderbir S. Gill, M.D., and Rodney J. Taylor, M.D., chief of urology at UNMC. In addition to performing transplants at UNMC, these transplant surgeons have been responsible for performing kidney and pancreas transplants at Clarkson Hospital since 1985.

“Alan did an outstanding job as the surgical director of the liver transplant program for the past year,” Dr. Shaw said. “I am personally very excited that he has accepted responsibility for leading all of our solid organ transplant programs. He brings a tremendous amount of talent and expertise to the job and carries the strong support of the team. I look forward to working under his direction on the transplant services.”

The UNMC transplant program will achieve another milestone in 1998 when the Lied Transplant Center is expected to be completed. Located at 43rd and Emile streets, the building will contain 14 levels and 259,000 square feet and will serve as a national model for other transplant programs by linking transplant research and care with an innovative cooperative care delivery system. With cooperative care, family and friends provide for the patient’s basic care needs, thus providing major cost savings for the patient.