Allegheny General Hospital
Professor Dai D. Nghiem was born in North Viet-Nam in 1941. He and his family escaped from the Communists to South Viet-Nam in 1954. He attended the French Lycee and graduated with his medical doctorate in 1970 after 4 years of Internship from the Saigon Medical School. His military service was cut short by a severe injury and he returned to teach. He did a 2-year fellowship in cardiac surgery at the University of Pittsburgh from 1972-1974 and returned to Saigon. He and is wife emigrated as “boat people“ to the US in 1975 to escape the communists again. He finished his US residency and took on a 2-year transplant fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia in 1978. He started his academic career at the University of Iowa from 1980 to 1986 and moved to Pittsburgh to be Director of the Division of Transplantation at Allegheny General Hospital. He served as a Professor of Surgery at the Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahnemann University and Drexel University School of Medicine since 1997.
He is best known for his novel procedure of pancreas transplantation with duodenum--bladder drainage which made the procedure safer for the patients and allowed the diagnosis of rejection by the reduction in urinary amylase levels and the cystoscopic biopsy of the duodenum
He is known for his research and clinical application of oxygen radical scavengers such as Super Oxide Dismutase, opiate receptor blockade, Ca++ blockers Erythropoietin in the prevention of Acute Kidney Injury and the mitigation of Delayed Graft Function.
He described the first substantial series of en-bloc transplantation of kidneys from the very small pediatric donors. He popularized the use of marginal donor kidneys as dual simultaneous adult kidney transplants through a single flank incision, rather than a staged double transplant as performed but others, thus shortening the operative time by half and reducing the chance for complications. These innovations have provided more transplants to many patients that might otherwise never receive the “gift of life”.
Recently he introduced the use of tissue plasminogen activator to lyse the microthrombin in kidneys with DIC, rendering them suitable for transplantation.
He was involved in multiple US studies of immunosuppressive agents such as ATG, Simulect, Mycophenolate Mofetil, Sirolimus, Alemtuzumab, and steroid-free immune suppression protocol.
He holds membership in 23 National and International Medical Societies. He has presented at 50 Transplant meetings in Asia, Europe and Australia, and 170 gatherings in Northern America, chairing multiple sessions. He has contributed 227 publications in peer-reviewed transplant journals and 6 transplant videos to the American College of Surgeons Library. He serves as reviewer for the journal Transplantation, the American Journal of Transplantation, the journal Transplant International and the Journal of the American Society of Artificial and Internal Organs.
He was recipient of multiple awards and was listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, The Guide to America’s Top Surgeons, The Pride of the Vietnamese, The list of The Most Influential Vietnamese-Americans in 1975-2000. He was conferred the Honorary PhD by the University of Cluj Napoca and bestowed the Honorary Citizen of the City of Cluj Napoca, Romania in 2002.