2018 Alumni Award

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Alumnus Harlan Amstutz (’53, MD ’56) has been selected for the 2018 UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Alumni Award. 

Amstutz will accept the award and present his commencement address at the UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry Dr.graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 16, 2018 in the Court of Sciences.

“UCLA has provided me with a long term stimulus for education and knowledge, for which I am eternally grateful” Amstutz said. “I am proud to claim it as my unofficial home for 28 years, first as an undergraduate, then a graduate and ultimately as a faculty member. So many wonderful memories!”

A standout athlete, Amstutz played basketball for Coach John Wooden at UCLA; he also played on the UCLA volleyball team and worked as a lifeguard. After earning Phi Beta Kappa honors in Chemistry, he decided to attend the UCLA School of Medicine. There he had the opportunity to work on one of the very first heart by-pass machines and became fascinated with research that has proven to be his life’s puzzle. Amstutz trained to be an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and then served two years in the Air Force as a Captain at the hospital at Minot Air Force Base.

After an NIH-sponsored fellowship at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London, Amstutz returned to the Hospital for Special Surgery. His first appointment focused on leg-lengthening procedures, but he immediately began petitioning for projects regarding the hip and knee. He established one of the first bioengineering laboratories and recruited additional expertise, which led not only to in the first total hip replacement in the United States but also the design and manufacture of the prostheses. Subsequently this led to the hip resurfacing procedure.  He is currently the founding director of the Joint Replacement Institute at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Amstutz was named Outstanding Alumnus by the Hospital for Special Surgery in 2010. He is an honorary member of the German Orthopaedic Society as well as one of the few foreign orthopedists to be named a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Past President of numerous societies, he has over 350 scientific papers in print and is the author of two books. 


To learn more about the Saturday, June 16, 2018 Chemistry and Biochemistry graduation ceremony visit the commencement website.