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Contact: Christine Payton Jan. 26, 2010
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Surgeon known for pioneering kidney transplant procedure
Dr. Keith MelanconA 1982 UL Lafayette graduate known in the medical fields as a leader in multiple kidney transplantation will be speaking at the fifth annual Black History Kickoff on Feb. 1. Dr. J. Keith Melancon is the keynote speaker for the event, which marks the beginning of the university’s recognition of Black History Month in February.

“ We are excited to have someone like Dr. Melancon speak at the kickoff,” said Dr. Jennifer Jackson, assistant to the president for Campus Diversity. “He is the best in his field (pancreas and kidney transplants) and people are so proud as to what he has accomplished.”

The event is set for 5 p.m. at the Student Union Ballroom. It is free and open to the public. Food and prizes will be given away.

Melancon recently made national headlines when he was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams for a 14-patient kidney exchange in Washington, D.C. It was the largest kidney exchange of its kind to take place in one city.

Melancon is director of kidney and pancreas transplant surgery at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

– MORE–He was part of a team of doctors that pioneered the use of plasmapheresis to address kidney donor compatibility. The procedure lowers a person’s antibodies allowing them to accept another person’s organ. This is especially important for with high levels of antibodies that make a traditional donor match virtually impossible.

Other events to be held throughout February include:

• Feb. 3 – UL Lafayette Black Faculty and Staff Caucus Research Forum, 2 p.m. Evangeline room, Student Union;

• Feb. 4 – NAACP Candlelight Vigil, 7 p.m. Student Union porch;

• Feb. 8 – Ballast, 4 and 7 p.m. Bayou Bijou;

• Feb. 9 – African American Culture Committee Apollo Night, 7 p.m. Student Union Ballroom;

• Feb. 10 – African American Culture Committee Movie Night, 7 p.m. Bayou Bijou;

• Feb. 11 – Krewe of Roux King and Queen announcement, 2 p.m. Student Union;

• Feb. 18 – NAACP Racial Profiling Forum, 7 p.m. Student Union Forum;

• Feb. 22 – AKA Movie Night Black Like Me, 6:30 p.m. Sidelines; and

• Feb. 23 – African Americans in Louisiana Symposium, 5:30 p.m. Bayou Bijou.

The kickoff event is sponsored by the Office for Campus Diversity, South Louisiana Community College, Enrollment Services, University Program Council’s African American Culture Committee and Greek Affairs.

For more information about these events, contact 482-6464.

About UL Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state, with over 16,000 students. It ’s a public institution that awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It includes diverse offerings from the humanities to scientific research and leads the nation in areas like computer science, biology and nursing. Its student-athletes – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns – compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate competition.

Document last revised Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:19 AM

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