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Super Man

Tom Starzl

Tom Starzl

At center court, Tom Starzl tosses a basketball toward the gym ceiling. On either side of him, two young athletes go for the ball. The games have begun. That was how Starzl, Pitt’s internationally renowned transplant surgeon, officially opened the U.S. Transplant Games in Pittsburgh this summer. The Olympic-style event drew more than 1,300 organ-transplant recipients from around the country to compete in basketball, badminton, golf, and other sports. About 200 of them were former patients of Starzl’s, along with doctors and staff from the University’s Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute. When Starzl—the institute’s director emeritus—retreated to the sidelines after throwing that first ball, he posed for fun, curling his biceps. He is, for sure, a Pitt superhero.