This was the earliest institution to conduct kidney transplants in northwestern China and one of the earliest in all of China. Its website claims that since 1999, the hospital has witnessed a period of “glorious development” in kidney transplantation. As early as June 2000, it said it had completed over 1,140 kidney transplants.422
The Organ Transplant Research Institute of Xi’an Jiaotong University was founded in 2001 and has become one of the largest organ transplant centers in China combining the functions of treatment, education and research. Its transplantation capabilities are at an advanced level internationally and a leading level domestically. Its kidney transplant department is a national key discipline authorized to grant doctoral degrees. Liver transplantation has become a routine surgery in its Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery.423
Xue Wujun is the director of the kidney transplant department at this hospital and the current director of the Organ Transplant Research Institute. All of the team members hold PhD degrees; among them, 9 are professors and PhD advisors, who have trained 85 PhD students and 156 master’s students.424 As of April 2015, his team had conducted at least 4,023 kidney transplants425 (although the actual number may be larger than this official figure).
This hospital performs organ transplants on a large scale and was tracked by overseas media when the organ harvesting crimes were first exposed. It has since tried to hide the number of transplants performed, and lists on its website only that it has 48 beds. However, when our investigator called the transplant department under the guise of introducing a patient on behalf of another hospital and inquired whether the department had enough beds, its medical personnel indicated that there was no need to worry, and that they could add beds if needed and even appropriate beds from other wards.
On January 20, 2016, Shaanxi Daily published a report on the 60th Anniversary of the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University. It reviewed the history of this hospital, as detailed below.426
In 1979, this hospital performed the first kidney transplant in northwestern China. Today, its kidney transplantation ranks first in northwestern China and third in the country. All of its transplant quality, scale, and level have taken a lead in the country. In addition, the number of liver transplants conducted in this hospital and the quality of surgery always rank first in northwestern China. “In particular, we have completed four kinds of transplants on the same day, including liver, lung, and kidney transplants, creating a new chapter in the history of organ transplantation at this hospital.”
The center’s organ tissue matching capabilities and other research have reached an advanced level internationally.
In 2003, in collaboration with a lab at the Terasaki Research Institute in the U.S., the center established the Training Center for Organ Transplant Tissue Matching Technology in northwestern China.427
By December 2012, this center had guided 23 hospitals from 13 provinces in carrying out more than 10,000 kidney transplants, leading the development of liver, heart, lung, intestine, and other types of transplants and serving as a model for organ transplantation in mid-western China. The center has trained more than 500 core technical personnel for other transplant centers; some of the graduates have become academic leads.428
The hospital’s official website claimed in 2006 that a national program for continuing medical education (CME) for kidney transplantation has been organized annually since 2000. The students came from large general hospitals in 14 provinces and autonomous regions in China. “After learning from the program, the students went back to their hospitals and conducted a larger number of high-quality kidney transplants, having achieved a remarkable outcome from that continuing medical education.”429
The kidney transplant department has published more than 500 papers in well-known journals inside and outside of China, including more than 100 in SCI journals. It has received 6 provincial and ministerial-level science and technology progress awards. The department has also received research projects under the National 973 Program and Eleventh Five-Year Plan Support Program, as well as 11 projects under the National Natural Science Foundation and 20 under provincial and ministerial key research foundations. It has edited and co-edited 12 monographs and presented the most papers at national academic organ transplantation conferences for 10 consecutive years. It has also hosted 9 international and national academic conferences.
The main experts of the organ transplant research institute are:
Xue Wujun: First class chief physician, professor, medical PhD, and PhD advisor. Director of the organ transplant research institute. Dean of the kidney disease hospital. Member of the Chinese Medical Association Organ Transplant Subcommittee Standing Committee. Member of the Chinese Human Organ Donation Expert Committee. Director of the Shanxi Province Organ Transplant Quality Control Center. Receives special government allowances from the State Council as an Outstanding Expert.
Tian Puxun: Chief physician, professor, medical PhD, PhD advisor. Deputy Dean of the kidney disease hospital. Director of the kidney transplant department. Member of the Chinese Medical Association Organ Transplant Subcommittee. Vice chairman of the Shanxi Medical Association Organ Transplant Subcommittee.
Ding Xiaoming: Chief physician, professor, medical PhD, PhD advisor. Deputy director of the kidney transplant department. Youth member of the Chinese Medical Association Organ Transplant Subcommittee. Standing member of the Shanxi Medical Association Organ Transplant Subcommittee.
Pan Xiaoming: Associate chief physician, associate professor, medical PhD, master’s advisor. Member of the Shanxi Medical Association Organ Transplant Subcommittee.
Yan Hang: Associate chief physician, associate professor, medical PhD, master’s advisor. Member of the Shanxi Medical Association Organ Transplant Subcommittee.
Feng Xingshun: Associate chief physician, associate professor. Member of the Shanxi Medical Association Organ Transplant Subcommittee.
After the organ harvesting crimes were exposed in 2006, a WOIPFG investigator spoke with Doctor Wang, who was working at this hospital:430
Investigator: We heard that you have healthy donors who are 20 to 30 years old?
Doctor: Yes, yes.
Investigator: Are they living-donor kidneys?
Doctor: There are living-donor livers as well.
Investigator: They are taken from living people, right?
Doctor: Right! Right!
Investigator: A number of Falun Gong practitioners are detained in labor camps, and the organs are taken from living people…
Doctor: Yes, yes! We care about the quality of an organ, rather than its source, what do you think? Now thousands of liver transplants have been done in China, and all of them are about the same. Then, you know, it’s not possible that everyone would stop doing organ transplants just because some information got out …