Emory School of Medicine
Physician Group President
100 Woodruff Circle
Christian P. Larsen, MD, DPhil, is Dean of Emory University School of Medicine, Vice President for Health Center Integration for the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Emory Clinic.
Larsen, an internationally recognized leader in transplant surgery and immunology, joined the Emory medical faculty in 1991 and was appointed Chair of Surgery in 2009. His clinical practice is focused on kidney, pancreas, and islet transplantation at Emory University Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He is also an affiliate scientist at Yerkes National Primate Research Center.
Larsen became founding director of the Emory Transplant Center (ETC) in 2001, building and directing one of the foremost research and clinical transplantation programs in the world. The center is most noteworthy for its leadership in the early integration of clinical care and research. In 2003, he and his team performed the first islet transplant in Georgia and have continued to be leaders in this innovative field of transplant.
Under Larsen, the ETC has been a national pacesetter in establishing new standards to ensure reliable, patient-centered care, focusing on multidisciplinary care a full decade before its recognition as an essential attribute in patient care. In addition, the ETC has been one of the nation's leading centers for National Institutes of Health research funding in basic immunology, in translational studies in non-human primates, and in large, multi-center clinical trials.
Together with long-time collaborator Thomas Pearson, MD, DPhil, Larsen has played a pivotal role in developing a new class of immunosuppressive drugs, the co-stimulation blockers. Poised to replace the cyclosporine class of drugs, these new drugs have the promise of being just as effective while avoiding the major side effects and toxicities associated with cyclosporine. Larsen and Pearson helped drive discovery and development of the co-stimulation blocker belatacept, approved in June 2011 by the FDA for kidney transplant recipients—the first time a new class of drug had been approved for transplant since the 1990s.
In 2012 Larsen received a new NIH grant for nearly $20 million to lead a research team continuing 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.
Larsen 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 funded by the NIH and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
After receiving his bachelor of arts in chemistry from Emory College, Larsen received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in 1984. He was a Livingston Surgical Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, England, and he received his doctor of philosophy in transplantation immunology from Oxford in 1990. He completed general and transplantation surgery training at Stanford University and at Emory, where he was chief surgical resident and a fellow in transplantation surgery.