Donald Dafoe Rhoda F. Leichter


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The eldest son of a surgeon, Dafoe graduated from Appleton West High School in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1967, where he was on the football and wrestling teams. He then attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received his undergraduate degree in zoology and his medical degree. He became a transplant surgeon after training in surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and now works at University of California Irvine Medical Center in Orange, California, where he is chief of transplantation surgery. He previously worked at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was Director, Pancreas Transplantation, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Center, and Director of Surgical Education, and held the Eris M. Field Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research. He was previously medical director for the California Transplant Donor Network. He has written over 160 peer-reviewed articles and he has been on the editorial board of Journal of Surgical Research, The Chimera, and Transplantation Science.