Raphael P. H. Meier, M.D., Ph.D. is a liver, kidney, and pancreas transplant and hepatobiliary surgeon and researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His research focuses on developing solid organ and cell xenotransplantation to cure end-stage organ diseases such as diabetes, renal insufficiency, and liver failure. Dr. Meier is working on improving the microenvironment of encapsulated xenogeneic islets using Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). He also uses MSC transplantation as a therapeutic modality to deliver anti-inflammatory cytokines in chronic liver diseases and for solid organ xenotransplantation.
Dr. Citro is Project Leader of the Pancreas Bioengineering Unit at the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy. He was trained to the organ decellularization and bio-engineering in the Ott lab at Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Boston, USA. His current research takes advantage of his background in beta cell replacement and regenerative medicine to bioengineer ex vivo the endocrine pancreas microenvironment. In this direction, he recently investigated on the opportunity to combine the neonatal pig islet with his bioengineering platforms. Since June 2023 he is a committee member of the Young Investigator Committee of the International Xenotrasplant Association.
Margaret (Maggie) Connolly is a Baltimore native, who was introduced to xenotransplantation as a medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. During her general surgery training, she proceeded to study cardiothoracic xenotransplantation under the guidance of Dr. Richard N. Pierson III and Dr. Agnes Azimzadeh at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Maggie graduates her general surgery residency in June 2023, and will remain at the MGH to complete her cardiac surgery fellowship. She plans to become a transplant surgeon, and is thrilled at the prospect of further advancing the field of xenotransplantation in her career.
Corbin E. Goerlich, M.D., Ph.D. is a current Halsted general surgery resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital and future cardiac surgery fellow at Stanford in 2024. Dr. Goerlich was a postdoctoral fellow in the Cardiac Xenotransplantation lab of Muhammad Mohiuddin, MD, and Bartley Griffith, MD, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed a PhD in immunology with a thesis titled, “The Clinical Translation of Life-supporting Cardiac Xenografts From Genetically Engineered Pigs for Human Transplantation.” Prior to this, Goerlich graduated from Baylor University (Waco, TX), with a B.B.A. and received his M.D. from McGovern Medical School (Houston, TX).
Shani Kamberi is a MD/MPH student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Her interests include the intersections of medicine, research, and public health leadership, particularly as it relates to allo- and xenotransplantation. She has written, testified, and lobbied for state legislation that changed public school curricula to include organ donation information and registration. She has prior independent experience in organ registration research. As a medical student, she has been working closely with leading transplant surgeons on their transplant research. Shani is excited to further promote interest in xenotransplantation with the Young Investigator Committee.
Joe Ladowski is a surgical resident a Duke Surgery and is pursuing a research career in immunology, transplant tolerance, transplant graft rejection, and/or xenotransplantation.
Jeffrey Stern is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He participated to the development of the decedent model and has a strong interest in Xenotransplantation
I am an Immunologist with a PhD from India and postdoctoral research at Vanderbilt University. I have researched histo-compatibilities in kidney transplantation and the role of natural killer T cells in autoimmune diseases. Using a pre-clinical pig-to-baboon model, I am testing genetically engineered (GE) pig hearts and optimizing immunosuppression regimens for cardiac xenotransplantation. I co-authored papers on the longest survival of heterotopic (945 days) and life-supporting orthotopic (9 months) GE pig hearts in baboons. I am a team member that recently transplanted the first GE pig heart to an end-stage heart failure patient after US FDA approval.
Yi Wang (China), is Professor at Sichuan Academy of Medical Science and Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital. She is also Professor at School of Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. She has been devoted to the basic research and translational study on islet xenotransplantation, covering from the material science for islet encapsulation, pre-clinical trial for porcine to primate islet xenotransplantation, related immunological studies, to novel drug development. She is also involved in liver and kidney xenotransplantation research.