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July 18, 1996

Researcher whose work facilitated baboon marrow transplant is leaving Pitt

Suzanne Ildstad, director of Pitt's Division of Cellular Therapeutics, is leaving the University. Ildstad gained fame last year when her work enabled surgeons from Pitt and the University of California at San Francisco to transplant baboon bone marrow into five AIDS patients in an attempt to strengthen their immune systems.

Ildstad told the University Times that she has accepted an offer from Allegheny University and will be leaving Pitt in either September or October.

"They [Allegheny University] gave me an outstanding offer to let me pursue my vision and I haven't been able to do that here," Ildstad said. "I will establish and direct an institute of cellular therapeutics, which has been my dream. I'll be able to build my clinical program on-site and pursue all the different diseases that we want to try to treat." Allegheny University is a combination of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, St. Christopher's Children's Hospital and Hahnemann College, all located in Philadelphia. Among Allegheny's affiliates is Allegheny General Hospital, but Ildstad will not be working there. She will be based in Philadelphia. In addition to Ildstad, her husband, David Tollerud, also is leaving Pitt for Allegheny University. Tollerud is director of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health. Tollerud could not be reached for comment.

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