M. Roy First, M.D. was Vice President and Global Therapeutic Area Leader, Transplantation and Immunology at Astellas Pharma Global Development, Inc. After graduating from medical school at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, he moved to Chicago in 1972 to take the position of Renal Research Fellow at the Michael Reese Hospital.
In 1974, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the University of Cincinnati, later becoming full Professor and Director of the Section of Transplantation, a position that he held until 2002, when he moved to Fujisawa (later Astellas). During his distinguished academic career, Dr. First has published more than 390 articles on transplantation, as well as 39 book chapters and two books. He is a past President of the American Society of Transplant Physicians (ASTP, subsequently AST) and has served on many United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) committees, including chairing the Organ Donation Committee, on the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), on the NIH Data Safety and Monitoring Board for Clinical Trials in Transplantation, and as a Councilor of the Transplantation Society. Dr. First has been on the editorial board of a number of journals including Transplantation, Transplantation Proceedings, Clinical Transplantation, the American Journal of Transplantation, and the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. In 2013 he received the AST Lifetime Achievement Award.