Dr. Robert E. McCabe Jr., an early specialist in kidney transplantation, died at 88 on Aug. 29.
His determination to link donors with recipients brought about a rare collaboration with the Soviets in 1979 that had a positive effect in generating publicity for the transplant program and led to a noticeable rise in kidney donations.
Dr. McCabe, who performed transplants, also taught himself to become a specialist in organ preservation using cold storage as well as a machine developed by transplant surgeon Dr. Folkert O. Belzer. The process, known as machine perfusion, uses a blend of fluids to simulate a kidney’s natural function until the kidney is transplanted. Dr. McCabe helped refine the blend. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.