Dr. Norman Kneteman
In 1989, Dr. Norman Kneteman performed the University of Alberta Hospital’s very first liver transplant. So began the hospital’s successful liver transplant program, now the second-busiest liver transplant site in Canada.
But transplant surgery is only one of the ways that Dr. Kneteman has made all the difference to patients with liver disease. When hepatitis C was discovered in 1989, and it quickly became clear that it was the primary cause of liver failure, he joined the effort to develop treatments. His lab’s unique research project using mice helped pave the way to the current family of highly effective drugs. Not only have these medications helped to restore grateful patients to health, they have helped to reduce the demand for donor livers, helping many other patients in turn.
In 2000, Dr. Kneteman was also part of a group of doctors who developed a new treatment for diabetes. Known internationally as the Edmonton Protocol, the technique consists of injecting healthy pancreatic islet cells into patients with diabetes to restore control of blood glucose while avoiding the need for daily insulin injections.
Throughout his remarkable career, Dr. Kneteman has also supported and promoted organ donation, and has continued that work since retiring as a surgeon in 2021.