Welcome to Professor Wayne Hawthorne, President of the IXA – A behind the scenes peek at the man

Our Association is like a large family, and we are united in times of difficulties. This has been a particularly challenging time, especially with the untimely loss of sitting President, Professor Agnès Azimzadeh.

We are grateful to Professor Wayne Hawthorne for assuming the role of President earlier than anticipated and for ensuring a legacy with Agnès, offering his own leadership that will link the past with the future.

For those who do not yet know him, Wayne is Professor of Transplantation, at the Department of Surgery at Westmead Hospital, The University of Sydney. Wayne has dedicated his life and career to both clinical and research transplantation and has been a mentor to hundreds of scholars and students. Wayne has been a major participant in the field of xenotransplantation, carrying out pioneering experiments in preclinical non-human primate models.

Agnes and Wayne having yet another
in-depth discussion at the IXA Presidents
dinner in Munich 2019

As Director of the National Pancreas and Islet Transplant Laboratories, Wayne’s team was the first in Australia to develop and perform clinical islet cell allogeneic and autologous transplantation among other notable accomplishments. As Director of the Xenotransplantation Research Program at the Westmead Institute of Medical Research, he established the Australian islet and kidney xenotransplant programs.

Given his list of accomplishments it should be no surprise that Professor Hawthorne has been recognized many times for his important contributions to transplantation, including being the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Ian McKenzie Prize for Outstanding Contribution in Transplantation from The Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand. Wayne has also been awarded the Key Opinion Leader in Transplantation by TTS, a XENOME Award in Transplantation from the European Union and an Australia Harvard University Fellowship for Transplantation to add to his many other awards.

Within IXA Wayne has been one of the rocks that we have built upon. Having served in the Council for many years and on the Vanguard Committee (now YI), in 2019 he became President-Elect. Wayne has led efforts for the establishment of international standards and guidance including the Changsha Communique; he was instrumental in its 10-year renewal as attested during the third WHO Global Consultation on Regulatory Requirements for Xenotransplantation Clinical Trials. Wayne has provided invaluable contributions to the definition of international criteria for the regulation of clinical trials in xenotransplantation. His ties to many international research groups have led him to become a reference for groups on all continents and a valued member of our IXA community along with several appointments as visiting Professor to numerous Universities in Asia. Above the photo on the right is from one of his many trips into China’s interior following an international workshop.

But, in the discussion about Professor Hawthorne “the professional” let us not forget Wayne “the man” for one could not exist without the other. To gain a more personal insight to our new President, we can turn to his friend, Professor Peter Cowan (past IXA President) for a peak behind the curtain.

Like many Aussies, Wayne enjoys outdoor activities and getting out in nature, with Australia being a land of beautiful landscapes and locations to visit. He is a dedicated father and very proud of his two sons. He also enjoys fast cars and motor bikes, being somewhat of a fanatic on the subject, and enjoys collecting and racing cars and motor bikes as a hobby.

One of Wayne’s Ducati motor bikes
His Ducati XDiavel S 1,262cc –‘the beast’

Wayne’s love of cars extends to V8 Super car racing and Rally car driving

Even more surprisingly, he is a man of hidden musical talents (see picture on the left, Wayne playing a Chinese Zither at the 2018 Changsha Communique Dinner).

Wayne is also an expert in the martial arts having done several forms for decades including over the years with his sons. He believes that these kinds of social activities and cultural values can help us fulfill our life goals, build character, and connect as a community.

Perhaps, the Presidency of the IXA is the first step to further political aspirations (see picture on the left of the 2017 IXA council visit to Washington DC, Capital building).

Wayne is a teacher, a mentor, a leader, an organizer, a consensus builder, and a doer. His remarkable array of talents will help to insure the continued growth of the international xenotransplant community.

We are pleased to welcome Wayne’s tenure as our President and look forward to working with him.

If you have not had a chance, please read Dr. Hawthorne’s inaugural message at https://tts.org/ixa-about/ixa-presidents-message



International Xenotransplantation Association
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