Baltzan, Marc A. (1929–2005)

Born in Saskatoon on October 31, 1929, Marc Baltzan obtained his MD CM degree from McGill University in 1953, and trained in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. His main research interest is renal dialysis, of which he was a pioneer in 1960, and renal transplantation. The first of the latter operations was performed (the second in Canada) on December 11, 1963. Baltzan was the internist, “captain” and the longest-serving member of the transplant team, which included urologists and surgeons. Thirty-one of the world’s first 330 cadaveric renal transplants (using kidneys removed from deceased patients) were performed in Saskatoon, where the survival rate was well above the world average. A review in 1992 showed that Saskatoon had more twenty-year survivals (six) than any other centre in the world; 930 kidney transplants were done by this team to the end of 2003. Baltzan was president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association in 1966–68, and of the Canadian Medical Association in 1982–83. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1995, and received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1999 and an Honorary D. Sc. from the University of Saskatchewan in 2004. Marc Baltzan died on January 1, 2005.

C. Stuart Houston