Dear IPITA Member,

On behalf of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association we would like to encourage you to participate in our 2021 Election.

To be eligible to vote you must be a Full or Allied Health Member of IPITA.

The Association seeks to achieve a Council that has gender and geographical balance in proportion to our membership. It also seeks a balance of focus on pancreas and islet transplantation, as well as fields of research and clinical practice.

It’s as easy as three simple steps:

  1. Login into your account
  2. Click the button below and you will be taken to the election ballot.
  3. Prior to accessing the ballot you may view bios and photos on this page.
Deadline to vote:
Sunday May 16, 2021 at 23:59. EDT (Montreal time)

Thank you for being an active member of our Society and we look forward to sharing the results of our election during the 2021 Virtual Congress which will take place on October 20-23, 2021. Visit for more information.


Tom Kay
IPITA Secretary


Councilor EUROPE (Running Unopposed)
Eelco de Koning

Eelco de Koning is a professor of diabetology at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. He received his medical doctorate at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, and subsequently started research into islet biology and pathology as a Ph.D. student at the Diabetes Research Laboratories in Oxford (1991-1994). He was board certified in endocrinology in 2001. He was also a visiting scientist in the group of Susan Bonner-Weir and Gordon Weir at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston (2004-2005).

Upon his return, he established a clinical islet and transplantation program in the Netherlands and he is one of the coordinators of the pancreas transplantation program at the LUMC. Major clinical interests include integration of the pancreas and islet transplantation program and outreach towards nephrologists and diabetologists in the community. He is head of a combined basis and clinical research group focused on improving human islet isolation and transplantation, the clinical outcome of islet and pancreas transplantation, and innovative regenerative therapies. He is past president of the European Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association (EPITA) and a full member of IPITA.

Councilor NORTH AMERICA (two positions)
Melena Bellin
Dr. Melena Bellin is a physician-scientist and tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, and the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on cell therapy for patients with type 1 diabetes and surgical diabetes. She has been an Investigator in multiple clinical trials of alloislet transplantation for type 1 diabetes, including the Clinical Islet Transplant Consortium studies, and in novel phase I/II studies of stem cell-derived islet products. She serves on the Executive Committee for the Clinical Islet Transplant Registry (CITR). She has been an innovator in the field of total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TPIAT), including leading 4 randomized clinical trials of novel therapies to improve islet engraftment after TPIAT, defining long-term outcomes after TPIAT, and developing TPIAT as an important therapy for children with hereditary pancreatitis. She has over 130 peer-reviewed publications in the field, and funding from NIH including three R01 and two U01 awards as primary investigator.
Wanxing Cui
Dr. Wanxing Cui is the director of the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Facility at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. The facility is registered with the FDA; accredited by the CAP, the FACT, and the AABB; and certified by the CLIA. This facility also manufactures Human Pancreatic Islets and Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells mainly for clinical programs at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and NMDP programs. Dr. Cui received medical training in Shenyang, China and practiced general surgery as a resident surgeon for three years. He earned his PhD degree at Kyoto University, Japan, in 2001 with research on bioartificial pancreas development. Since then, Dr. Cui has been working on pancreatic islet transplantation for more than twenty years. His research covers a wide spectrum from basic studies with rodent islets and preclinical studies with non-human primate islets to clinical trials with human islets, using a multidisciplinary translational approach. Dr. Cui has published 56 scientific papers and possesses five islet and bioengineering related patents currently. He has been a standing IPITA member for more than 18 years and presented his research work at the IPITA annual meeting three times, respectively. Dr. Cui is an active committee member of the AABB cellular therapies section.
Jonathan Fridell
Jonathan Fridell, MD is Chief of Abdominal Transplant Surgery at Indiana University. Having completed Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Institute / University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA, he joined the faculty at IU in 2002. He has actively participated in all aspects transplant surgery including adult and pediatric liver, kidney, intestine and pancreas transplantation. He is best known for his contributions in the field of pancreas transplantation. His research is mostly focused on outcomes and complications following pancreas transplantation and he has authored ~200 manuscripts and book chapters. He is Deputy Editor for Pancreas and Islet Transplantation for Clinical Transplantation and Associate Editor for American Journal of Transplantation. Dr. Fridell also has a long history of participation with the OPTN/UNOS including a rare double term as the Chair of the Pancreas Transplant Committee. He is the incoming counselor for Region 10. As an active IPITA member for his entire career, he regularly participates in all meetings as a presenter, moderator and abstract reviewer. He is a member of the IPITA Education Committee and the new IPITA Curriculum Committee. He is also an active participant on the Scientific Program committee for the upcoming virtual IPITA meeting.
Angelika C. Gruessner
Prof. Angelika Gruessner is a Professor in the Department of Medicine/Nephrology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY and an Adjunct Professor of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. She received her PhD from the Department of Theoretical Medicine, Ruprecht-Karl-Universität, Heidelberg, Germany. For over 3 decades she has served as the Scientific Director of the International Pancreas Transplant Registry (IPTR) and has educated and informed the pancreas transplant community about all new developments in the field. The IPTR continues to be an important resource for clinicians and researchers alike and she has collaborated closely with many IPITA members and made registry analyses readily available to everyone. Prof. Gruessner has presented at all IPITA meetings since the association was founded. She has over 300 peer-reviewed publications and is the co-editor of the upcoming second edition of the textbook on “Pancreas Transplantation”. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Transplantation and a current member of IPITA’s education committee and was a member of the UNOS pancreas transplantation committee. In 2019, she received the Richard C. Lillehei Memorial Lecture Award for her lifetime achievements in pancreas transplantation.
Tambi Jarmi
Tambi Jarmi is a Senior Associate Consultant at Mayo Clinic Florida and Director of the Pancreas Transplant Program. Dr. Jarmi serves as an Affiliate Associate Professor of Medicine and past Medical Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program at University of South Florida. He completed his Nephrology Fellowship and Transplant Fellowship at University of Alabama at Birmingham under the mentorship of Drs. Anupam Agarwal and Robert Gaston. His research interest is on promoting organ donation and rehabilitating the suboptimal organs through the implementation of Regenerative Medicine. He is a fellow of American College of Physicians and American Society of Nephrology.
Silke Niederhaus
Dr. Niederhaus’s decision to pursue a career in transplantation was made at the time of her first kidney transplant at age 11. She has dedicated her life to transplantation ever since. Training in surgery and transplantation at the University of Wisconsin, a premier pancreas transplant program, quickly taught her the need for excellent technical skills and outstanding clinical acumen to manage pancreas transplant patients perioperatively. Under the mentorship of Drs. Sollinger and Odorico, she began to see that these challenges were a perfect fit. Thus, pancreas transplantation quickly became her passion. As a transplant surgeon at UMMC, she continues to see the tremendous benefits of pancreas transplantation. Still, excellent surgical outcomes stand in stark contrast to the lack of excitement about pancreas and islet transplantation among medical colleagues therefore, advocacy for pancreas and islet transplantation has become her passion. As a result, she has been privileged to take on multiple leadership roles in pancreas transplantation through UNOS, where she currently chairs the pancreas transplant committee. In addition, she has participated in several IPITA committees. She has now applied enthusiastically for the position as an IPITA councilor, hoping that her zeal for advocacy will help advance pancreas and islet transplantation.
Steven Paraskevas

Steven Paraskevas, MD, PhD, is a multi-organ transplant surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery at McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, and an IPITA member since 1995. Dr. Paraskevas was educated at Harvard, and completed medical training at McGill and the University of Minnesota. Returning to McGill, Dr. Paraskevas has led the pancreas transplant program since 2008. He helped plan and develop the MUHC Human Islet Transplant Laboratory, which has performed clinical transplants since 2015. He runs an active basic research lab studying the effect of graft injury and extracellular vesicle release on alloimmune and autoimmune responses, primarily in the islet context. His lab also studies the effect of Treg/Th17 axis changes on graft survival.

As an avid teacher of both graduate students and residents, Dr. Paraskevas is deeply committed to preparing the next generation of physicians and scientists. He helped to develop and continues to Co-Chair the Canadian Donor Surgical Skills Masterclass, now in its third iteration. Dr. Paraskevas has been actively involved in professional organizations and conferences, has been Co-Chair of the American Transplant Congress, and President of the Canadian Society of Transplantation. He is a passionate cyclist and sailor.

Dr. Hosein Shokouh-Amiri

Hosein Shokouh-Amiri, Director of Liver and Pancreas Transplant Program and Co-Director of Transplant Center at John C. McDonald Regional Transplant Center, Shreveport LA. He received his Degree from Pahlavi University Medical School, Shiraz, Iran in 1976. He started surgical training in Iran, but moved to Denmark in 1980, where he finished his general surgery residency, and subspecialty in gastrointestinal and transplant surgery and started his life-long passion of working on pancreas transplant techniques. He was instrumental in establishing the second liver transplant program in Denmark and became the first Vice President of Denmark's Transplant Society. His areas of expertise are in Transplantation with special interest in pancreas, liver and kidney, and management of hepato-pancreato-biliary pathology.

His utmost achievement is the Ellis Island Medal of Honor that he received in 2006. He received the Best Teaching Faculty of the Year at LSUHSC, Shreveport 2009. He has published 162 peer review articles, more than 13 book chapters and has given numerous talks nationally and internationally. He has carried out various voluntary trips to Egypt and Iran trying to establish liver and pancreas transplant programs. He has also done several trips to Honduras to do HPB surgeries & educate the local team there.

Councilor OTHER REGIONS (one position)
Vrishali Patil
Dr. Vrishali is the Multi Organ Transplant Surgeon at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Pune. She specializes in HPB and multi organ transplant (liver, pancreas, kidney, small bowel). She is the first transplant surgeon to perform a simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplant in the state of Maharashtra. She is also the only female surgeon in India who has performed liver, kidney, pancreas and intestine transplant. Her academic record reflects her exemplary skills and knowledge of transplant surgery. She earned her medical degree from the University of Pune in India and postgraduate General Surgery from National Board of Examination New Delhi. She completed her post-doctoral training in HPB and vascular surgery in Manchester, UK. Followed by ASTS certified Transplant surgery fellowships at Henry Ford Hospital and at the University of Wisconsin in liver, kidney, and pancreas transplant. There is a wide gender gap in India with very few female patients getting transplanted due to social, cultural and financial constraints. Her current project focuses on this issue and improving the conditions. She is on the Advisory Board of Transplant Committee for the Govt of India to advise on guidelines and economic packages for transplant patients.
Marcelo Perosa
Dr. Perosa is the Director of the Pancreas and Kidney Transplant Program of Hospital Leforte-Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has been involved with Pancreas Transplantation since 1994 and responsible for the largest Latin America series of PT (1,005 PT so far) for the last 25 years. In addition, the Program has been the most active Program of the world in PT for the last 3 years with over 70 PT yearly. He has attended the majority of IPITA's meetings for the last decades and is also member of the Membership and Outreach Committee of IPITA.



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