History of the J. Bradley Aust Surgical Society

About J. Bradley Aust, MD, MS, PhD: Dr. Aust, Professor Emeritus of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio Department of Surgery (ret. 1998) was appointed as the first chair of the Department of Surgery in 1966 at the age of 40. He earned his MD from the University of Buffalo in 1949, interned and trained in surgery, both general and thoracic, at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Dr. Owen H. Wangensteen. Dr. Wangensteen was noted for his training of academic surgeons as skilled in the research laboratory as in the operating room, and trained over 30 chairs of surgery. Dr. Aust was one of the last trained by Dr. Wangensteen before Dr. Wangensteen's retirement in 1967.

On his acceptance of the position of Chair of the Department of Surgery in 1966, Dr. Aust enticed a cadre of Minnesota surgeons (Drs. Root, McFee, Rogers, Cruz, Story and Pestana[Mayo Clinic]) to join him in the enterprise of developing a Department of Surgery with teaching responsibilities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Aust was the first chair of the Medical School Curriculum Committee. He and his colleagues accepted the commitment to maintain and develop graduate-training programs in general surgery and all major surgical specialties including neurosurgery, urology, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, ENT, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and the surgical subspecialties of pediatric cardiac, transplant, vascular, trauma and surgical oncology.

Dr. Aust's research interests range from technical innovations, cancer chemotherapy, coronary artery bypass, and vascular reconstruction to hemicorporectomy.

Dr. Aust has accomplished an impressive and history-changing list of surgical 'firsts':

  • 1st use of radioactive iodine 131 albumin for total blood volume determination (1950)
  • 1st conceived of coronary artery bypass using internal mammary artery anastomosis to ligated left main coronary artery in the dog (1955)
  • Femoral popliteal bypass with reversed saphenous vein in US (1956)
  • 1st to use flow-limited molecules D2O and antipyrine to estimate tissue blood flow (1956)
  • 1st to produce tolerance to allergenic skin in adult mice using parabiosis of tolerant to non-tolerant mice (1957)
  • Pioneered isolated perfusion cancer chemotherapy with first head and neck and first isolated liver perfusion (1959-60)
  • 1st hemicorporectomy in the world (1961)
  • 1st cadaver kidney transplant in Minnesota (1962)
  • Proposed foreign antigen persistence as the requisite mechanism for acquired tolerance (1964)
  • 1st described utero-siqmoidostomy as a cancer provoking technique for developing colon cancer at the site of the anastomosis (1966)