Kathryn Wood

Medawar Prize Laureate (2018)

Introduction of Jean-Paul Soulillou, MD, Recipient of the 2016 Medawar Prize

It is indeed a pleasure for me to introduce Jean-Paul Soulillou as the Medawar Prize Winner for 2016. I have known Jean-Paul for many years and indeed in the past served on his Advisory Board for the Nantes Transplant Institute. As we had many overlapping interests in research, especially in tolerance induction, we have always kept a close eye on each other's work. He was also a visiting professor some years ago in my department at the University of Oxford, and so I feel well qualified to introduce him as this year's Medawar Prize winner.

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Jean-Paul was born in Bordeaux in 1944and went to medical school in Bordeaux, and Nantes, graduating in 1968. He was a resident at the Nantes University Hospital and then spent a very interesting year in a “foreign organisation in healthcare” (like a French Peace Corps) in the mercury mines in Tunisia. This had quite an impact on his life, it being the first time he had been out of France and been exposed to healthcare in a poor country. At the end of his time there, he could question a patient in Arabic.

In 1974, he went to the Peter Brent Brigham Hospital as a research fellow to spend 15 months with Bernie Carpenter, and without question, this experience had a major impact on his whole future career. He also met his wife to be, Helga, in Boston, and she has been a great support for him ever since.

He returned to Nantes University, where by 1980, he had become Professor of Immunology. He was the founder and director of the prestigious Institute of Transplantation at the University of Nantes, a position he held from 1991 to 2010. He was also the founder and director of not 1, but 3 Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medicalej (INSERM) units between 1986 and 2007. He also served on the external Advisory Board for the NIH Immune Tolerance Network and was the founder of 3 Biotech companies. He served on the editorial boards of a number of journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Transplantation, Transplant International, and Transplantation. He also founded the Nantes Actualitiés in Transplantation course which is held annually and remains extremely popular to this day.

As one might imagine, he has won quite a number of prizes for his work. For example, in 1998, he won the L. Binet Prize of the French Foundation of Medical Research; in 2002, the Eloi Collery Prize of the Academy of Medicine; in 2008, he was awarded The Transplantation Society Award for his outstanding achievement in transplantation science, and in 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Prix d'Honneur of INSERM (which is only given to 1 scientist each year) in recognition of his outstanding work with INSERM over many years.

He has published some 540 scientific articles, and of these, my favourites are his article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990 and also a follow-up in Lancet in 1997 showing that IL-2 receptor antibodies can prevent rejection; antibody to class II HLA antigens is associated with rejection (Lancet, 1978); the mechanism of immune tolerance and rejection (articles published in leading journals over many years) and another very important paper published in 1998 in the Lancet “Cancer after transplantation related to the weight of immunosuppression.”

Jean-Paul Soulillou is married to Helga, and has 3 children, Muriel, Adrien, and Marc. His only hobby is research, and he does not claim to have climbed Mount Everest, done white water rafting, played golf or, indeed, any of these rather macho pursuits, and he tells me that his only eccentricity is being French.

Jean-Paul Soulillou has been an outstanding clinical scientist in the field of transplantation, and Mr President, I cannot think of anyone worthier to be a recipient of the Medawar Prize.

Morris, Peter J.
Transplantation: December 2016 - Volume 100 - Issue 12 - p 2495-2497

The Medawar Prize Acceptance Speech 2016

Mister President, Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Colleagues and Friends.

I first would like to thank Sir Peter Morris, Prof, as I use to call him since a visiting professor stay on Oxford, for having accepted to introduce me to the audience and for his kind words. Needless to say how proud and grateful I feel for receiving this award. But I feel also very humble; humble not only in front of the iconic portrait of Peter Medawar of course but also in front of the gallery of the past Medawar Prize recipients. But more, I feel in front of this distinction as a kind of representative—only one of the several ambassadors of my generation.

Highlighted Articles

The Transplantation Society: Building on Success

Wood, Kathryn J.
Transplantation: December 27, 2006 - Volume 82 - Issue 12 - p 1566-1570

This year, 2006, is the 40th Anniversary of The Transplantation Society (TTS) (Fig. 1). The Society has a rich and impressive history that has been summarized by Dr. Nicholas Tilney, President Elect of The Transplantation Society, in a monograph entitled “The Transplantation Society—Four Decades of International Cooperation, Innovation, Growth and Progress,” which charts the key events in the Society’s development from its inception 40 years ago. It makes fascinating reading and I recommend it to all of you.

Is B Cell Tolerance Essential for Transplantation Tolerance?

Wood, Kathryn J.
Transplantation: February 15th, 2005 - Volume 79 - Issue 3 - p S40-S42

In some transplantation settings, achieving B cell as well as T cell tolerance will be essential in order to ensure long-term graft survival. However, in other situations, although B cell tolerance could potentially offer advantages to the long-term function of the graft and may therefore be desirable, there is no evidence that inducing B cell tolerance alongside T cell tolerance is essential. This overview forms part of a debate discussing the potential role of B cell tolerance in transplantation and uses selected examples in the literature to address the question: is B cell tolerance essential for transplantation tolerance?

Regulatory T cells: potential in organ transplantation

Wood, Kathryn J.; Luo, Shiqiao; Akl, Ahmed
Transplantation: January 15th, 2004 - Volume 77 - Issue 1 - p S6-S8

Active regulation or suppression of donor reactive cells is emerging as a key mechanism for inducing and maintaining unresponsiveness to donor alloantigens. Accumulating evidence suggests that a balance between immunoregulation and deletion of donor alloantigen reactive T cells can provide effective control of immune responsiveness after organ or cell transplantation. In many settings, immunoregulatory activity is enriched in CD4+ T cells that express high levels of CD25, and common mechanisms appear to be responsible for the activity of regulatory T cells in both transplantation and the control of reactivity to self-antigens.

Highlighted Videos

Interview with Kathryn Wood

for the 50th Anniversary of The Transplantation Society

Inducing Tolerance - Clinical Approaches

2015-2017 - Advanced Renal Transplantation - Interactive Teaching Series

What Did We Learn From the Networks? Riset

2012 - TTS International Congress

Update on the WIT initiative

2010 - TTS International Congress

The role of non-HLA antibodies on acute rejection

2010 - TTS International Congress



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