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Professor Mehmet Haberal Receives Distinguished Philanthropist Award

Mehmet Haberal, MD, FACS(HON), FICS(HON), FASA(HONThe American College of Surgeons (ACS) Foundation Board of Directors presented the 2017 Distinguished Philanthropist Award to Mehmet Haberal, MD, FACS(HON), FICS(HON), FASA(HON), at its annual Donor Recognition Luncheon on Monday, Oct. 23, during the ACS Clinical Congress in San Diego, California. Professor Haberal was recognized for his generous contributions to the College, service to the larger philanthropic community, extensive record of volunteerismand a career-long dedication to innovation and quality surgical patient care. He is the first international Fellow to receive the award.

As an ACS Foundation donor since 1990, Professor Haberal's generous philanthropy has elevated him to the Fellows Leadership Society Founders Circle, one of the top giving tiers that ACS Foundation contributors may achieve. Mary H. McGrath, MD, MPH, FACS, ACS Foundation Chair, said, "On behalf of the ACS Foundation Board of Directors, I am pleased to honor Professor Haberal with the 2017 Distinguished Philanthropist Award for his remarkable commitment to the mission of the College through philanthropic contributions and for his work as an innovative surgeon and educator. He joins a distinctive group of benefactors who have led through their examples of generosity for the good of the surgical patient and profession."

Internationally recognized surgical pioneer

Heralded as a pioneer in the fields of general surgery, transplantation and burn care in Turkey, and renowned in the international medical community, Professor Haberal is founder and founder-president of Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey. He received his medical degree in 1967 from Ankara University Medical School and completed his general surgery residency at Hacettepe University, Ankara. In 1973, he traveled to the U.S. and served as a Fellow at the Shriners Burns Institute (now the Shriners Hospital for Children (Galveston) and John Sealy Hospital, Galveston, TX, followed by a fellowship with the legendary Thomas E. Starzl, MD, FACS, at the Colorado University Medical School Transplantation Center, Denver.

On his return to Turkey, Professor Haberal established the first transplantation and burn treatment units at Hacettepe University, and began performing the first of many procedures and operations in his home country, as well as advocating for patient care. His accomplishments include the following:

  • Performed the first living-related kidney transplantation in Turkey, the first cadaver-kidney transplantation in Turkey with a kidney donated by Eurotransplant and the first domestic cadaver-kidney transplantation in Turkey
  • Performed the first successful cadaver-liver transplantation
  • Led the first pediatric segmental living-related liver transplantation in Turkey, the region and in Europe, immediately succeeded by the first adult segmental living-related liver transplantation in the world
  • Founded Baskent University, which provides a full range of educational opportunities to the youth of Turkey; has established 10 hospitals, nine outpatient clinics, 15 dialysis centers, two colleges (one in Ankara and one in Adana), two hotels and seven foundations throughout the country; and is part of the national medical network
  • Established and chairs the division of transplantation, department of general surgery, Başkent University Faculty of Medicine; approved by the Higher Education Commission, it is the first division of its kind at a University Hospital in Turkey

Dedication to the profession

Professor Haberal is founder and past-president of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation (MESOT), the Turkish Transplantation Society, the Turkish Burn and Fire Disaster Society and the Middle East Burn and Fire Disaster Society. He served as president of International Society for Burn Injuries, and as councilor representing the Middle East and Africa for The Transplantation Society.

In 2012, Professor Haberal founded the World Academy of Medical, Biomedical and Ethical Sciences, the first meeting of which was held in Ankara in 2013; he is the president of that organization. Also in 2013, he founded the International Haberal Transplantation and Education Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting transplant activities and ethical practices in deceased and living organ donation around the world. In December 2014, he established the Turkic World Transplantation Society. He is an ACS Governor and is president-elect of The Transplantation Society. Most recently, he received the Royal Society of Medicine's inaugural Distinguished Fellowship.

Professor Haberal is a member of 35 national and international medical societies and has organized more than 30 national and international scientific meetings. He has authored nearly 2,000 Turkish and English scientific publications, including six books. Professor Haberal serves on the editorial board of 10 medical journals and is founder and editor-in-chief of Experimental and Clinical Transplantation, the official journal of MESOT.

Since 1989, the ACS Foundation has acknowledged individuals for their exemplary investment in the mission of the College and in philanthropy with the Distinguished Philanthropist Award.

Join Professor Haberal and make an impact on your field and the the American College of Surgeons Foundation. To learn more, contact Shane Hollett at 312-202-5506 or

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