2019-2020 - Joint TTS-ISVCA Webinar Series on Composite Tissue

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Immunology of VCA

3.1 - Immunology of VCA

Presenter: Gerald Brandacher, Rolf N. Barth, Baltimore, MD, USA
Authors: Gerald Brandacher, Rolf N. Barth, Hatem Amer


To provide an overview on similarities and differences identified in VCA vs solid organ transplants.

A presentation of recent data from preclinical models characterizing cell populations that may protect grafts from strong immune responses directed towards skin containing VCA allografts.

Gerald Brandacher's Biography:

Dr. Gerald Brandacher is scientific director of the Johns Hopkins Reconstructive Transplantation program and vice chair of research in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He is also a professor in the Departments of Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and serves as the director of interdisciplinary research and innovation for the surgical sciences at Johns Hopkins.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins in 2010, Dr. Brandacher was a key member of the hand transplant programs in Innsbruck, Austria and at the University of Pittsburgh. As scientific director of the program at UPMC he was instrumental in designing a novel cell-based immunomodulatory treatment protocol for VCA and was also part of the team performing the first bilateral hand transplant and first forearm transplant in the US. In 2018 Dr. Brandacher was a core member of the team executing the world’s first total male genital transplant. His main scientific interests are donor-specific immune tolerance and immunomonitoring strategies.

Dr. Brandacher has served as the President of the Austrian Society of Surgical Research (2008-2009) and as Chair of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) Vascular Composite Allotransplantation Advisory Council (2014-15). He was elected as Chair of the Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Section of the European Society of Organ Transplantation (ESOT) in 2015, and is a Founding Member of the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation (ASRT), for which he currently serves as the President. He has been a Member at Large to the OPTN/UNOS Vascularized Composite Allograft Transplantation (VCA) Committee. In 2015 Dr. Brandacher was selected as a “Fellow of the American Society of Transplantation”.

Rolf N. Barth's Biography:

Dr. Rolf Barth is an professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the head of the Division of Transplantation and the director of liver transplantation at UM Medical Center. His clinical practice focuses on kidney, pancreas, and liver transplantation. Dr. Barth received his medical degree and surgical training at Duke University and continued specialty training in transplant surgery at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Barth also performed post-doctoral training in transplant immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Barth has active clinical and basic research interests that include novel immunosuppressive therapies, immunologic tolerance, and the use of genetically engineered animal organs for human transplantation (xenotransplantation). Dr. Barth has an active lab investigating transplant tolerance and pre-clinical models of composite facial and limb transplantation towards the clinical goal of reconstructive transplantation. These efforts were part of one of the most-extensive face transplant performed worldwide to date.

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