President's Message

Prof. Wayne Hawthorne

Westmead Hospital
University of Sydney, Australia

Dear Friends and colleagues,

With the start of a new year, we find ourselves with time to reflect on the year we have all just experienced. 2022 brings with it a hope that conditions around the world will now improve with a concerted global vaccination program having been underway for some time. It is more important than ever to reflect on the past, its achievements and stay connected within our community.

It is most certainly an exciting time for the xenotransplantation field. We have started this year as we ended the last, with exciting news of clinical xenotransplantation becoming a reality. Some massive steps forward have occurred, with our amazing new technologies helping us to achieve what was, for many years, a dream for many of us in the field. We have worked hard to achieve these results and to see the work push forward, from New York with the TG pig kidney transplants into brain dead patients to Baltimore transplanting a patient with a 10 gene modification pig heart, is incredible. We need to also acknowledge the support of government authorities such as the FDA to have supported these life changing transplants. These breakthroughs show how hard we have worked with the IXA, TTS and the WHO in the regulatory sphere to develop guidelines and legislation to support and make this possible. These successes are the validation for our efforts. We can look forward to a very exciting 2022 as well as an amazing future with these incredible leaps forward.

One of the other major highlights of the past year was that we were able to hold a very successful joint Virtual IXA/CTRMS Congress in 2021 and I am pleased to provide a summary of the meetings highlights.

There was a total of 311 registrants. Participants were from ten different countries with many participants attending from North America, making up 56% of the attendees.

There were 11 plenary speakers with a total of 18 parallel session speakers, three industry speakers and nine networking panellists. Of the total 74 abstracts accepted for presentation, there were 50 oral abstracts, 16 mini-oral abstract and five e-poster abstracts presented. We congratulate and thank all the presenters. A special thanks goes to the 39 session moderators who helped facilitate the meeting run smoothly.

One of the highlights of the meeting for myself personally was to announce and present the IXA award winners for 2021. It was indeed a pleasure to announce the following winners:

  • 2021 Agnes Azimzadeh Award - Rita Bottino
  • 2020 Xeno Prize - Arne Hinrichs and Evamaria O. Riedel
  • 2021 Reemtsma Lecture Award - David Cooper
  • 2021 Honorary Lecture Award - Emanuele Cozzi
  • 2021 Scientific Abstract Awards (normally Travel Awards)
    • Corbin Goerlich - Select Life-Supporting Multi-Gene Cardiac Xenografts from Swine Demonstrate Survival >8 months in Baboons, with Implications for Human Clinical Trials
    • Takayuki Hirose - Graft Survival of The Kidney Xenografts with Triple Xenoantigen Knockout and Multiple Human Transgenes in Cynomolgus Monkeys
    • Adwin Thomas - Efficacy and safety of relevant immunosuppression in non-human primate neonatal islet cell cluster xenotransplantation
    • Konrad Fischer - Immunological characterisation of multi-knockout pigs
    • Margaret Connolly - Lung and liver platelet sequestration is attenuated by humanization of von Willebrand factor in ex vivo xenoperfusion studies

I also will take this time to acknowledge and thank the entire TTS management team for their hard work, forward planning, and skill in helping us to run such a successful meeting.

The past two years have seen some very dramatic changes in the way we have interacted, lived, and done business both at home and around the globe. Confinement measures and travel restrictions remain in effect in many countries, including our own to limit the continuing waves of COVID-19 infections.

My thoughts go out to all those who are affected by this pandemic. I would like to draw attention to and give thanks to the many caregivers and the medical community, who continue to fight for our patients courageously and passionately and for our communities, placing the life of others ahead of their own.

You are all no doubt looking forward to the advent of a very successful year, as am I, where we may be able to meet in person at one of the various scientific meetings planned for this New Year.

Best Regards,

Professor Wayne J. Hawthorne
IXA President


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Address

International Xenotransplantation Association
C/O The Transplantation Society
International Headquarters
505 Boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest
Suite 1401
Montréal, QC, H2Z 1Y7
Canada