Date Event
1954 First successful kidney transplant performed.
1966 First simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplant performed.
1967 First successful liver transplant performed.
1968 First successful isolated pancreas transplant performed.
First successful heart transplant performed.
The Southeast Organ Procurement Foundation (SEOPF) is formed as a membership and scientific organization for transplant professionals.
1977 SEOPF implements the first computer-based organ matching system, dubbed the "United Network for Organ Sharing."
1981 First successful heart-lung transplant performed.
1982 SEOPF establishes the Kidney Center, the predecessor of the UNOS Organ Center, for round-the-clock assistance in placing donated organs.
1983 First successful single-lung transplant performed.
Cyclosporine introduced.*
1984 National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) passed.**
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) separates from SEOPF and is incorporated as a non-profit member organization.
1986 First successful double-lung transplant performed.
UNOS receives the initial federal contract to operate the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN).
1987 First successful intestinal transplant performed.
1988 First split-liver transplant performed.
1989 First successful living donor liver transplant performed.
1990 First successful living donor lung transplant performed.
1992 UNOS helps found Donate Life America to build public support for organ donation.
UNOS prepares first-ever comprehensive report on transplant survival rates for all active U.S. transplant centers.
1995 UNOS launches its first Web site for all users with an interest in transplantation.
1998 First successful adult-to-adult living donor liver transplant performed.
1999 UNOS launches UNetsm, a secure, Internet-based transplant information database system for all organ matching and management of transplant data.
2000 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publishes Final Rule (federal regulation) for the operation of the OPTN.
2001 For the first time, the total of living organ donors for the year (6,528) exceeds the number of deceased organ donors (6,081).
2006 UNOS launches DonorNetsm, a secure, Internet-based system in which organ procurement coordinators send out offers of newly donated organs to transplant hospitals with compatible candidates.

*Cyclosporine was the first of a number of drugs that effectively treat organ rejection by suppressing the human immune system.

**The National Organ Transplant Act (P.L. 98-507) established the framework for a national system of organ transplantation.

Did you know?

The National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984 called for an Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) to be created and run by a private, non-profit organization under federal contract.

UNOS was first awarded the national OPTN contract in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. UNOS continues as the only organization ever to operate the OPTN.

Effective March 16, 2000, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implemented a Final Rule establishing a regulatory framework for the structure and operations of the OPTN. View the final rule now >