Prof. Wayne Hawthorne

Westmead Hospital
University of Sydney, Australia

Dear Friends and colleagues,

From the outset of the year, despite being time consuming and requiring a lot of energy on everyone’s part, it has been exciting to plan the forthcoming tripartite meeting of the IPITA, IXA and CTRMS to be held on October 26-29, 2023 in San Diego, California USA. All involved are working hard to bring you a wonderful experience with an in-person meeting at a fabulous venue. Special mention needs to go to the TTS team for helping organize the meeting thus far.

As the Scientific Program Chair, I am pleased to advise that there were 328 abstracts accepted for the meeting. This is a fabulous effort and will provide for great interaction between the various fields across the three organizations. There will be ample opportunity for the many oral, mini-oral and special sessions planned to present their work. The full program has been specifically developed to best showcase the most cutting-edge fields of science and medicine, including some fabulous Plenary, State of the Art, and individual specialized sessions for the meeting. There are also several workshops planned that will add broader exposure in some important areas of regulatory processes and legislation in relation to clinical Xenotransplantation. One key workshop is called “Modifications and Microbes”, where we will aim to achieve a consensus for developing assays to test donor animals or products prior to their release for use in xenotransplantation. These workshops should be of broad interest and provide some insight into these interesting and important areas for moving xenotransplantation to the clinic.

Click here for more information on the IPITA/IXA/CTRMS Joint meeting coming up this fall:

As part of the IXA initiative to support and foster young investigators in the field of xenotransplantation we have appointed a new Chair of the Young Investigators Committee (YIC), Dr. Raphael Meier. Raphael is a liver, kidney, and pancreas transplant surgeon at University of Maryland Medical Center with a strong research background in xenotransplantation. As part of the reinvigoration of the YIC we called for nominations to the committee, and we have appointed 10 new members to this group. The scope of the committee is to provide views of the younger membership of IXA and we are formulating a number of initiatives for the forthcoming tripartite meeting in San Diego. We thank Dr. Meier and his team for their efforts in organizing these events and look forward to seeing the new Young Investigator team in action at the meeting. Our next newsletter will highlight all the members of the committee.

Another recent initiative, as reported in the last newsletter, is the development of a podcast series. As part of the IXA’s ongoing mission to inform and educate its membership and the broader transplant community, the podcast series delivers several interesting lectures that will be of interest to the broader xenotransplant audience. The podcast series provides some basic insights into the newest advances in our field, with interviews and presentations from senior members of the xenotransplant community.

We look forward to receiving both feedback and suggestions from members across all levels. If you have an interesting topic for discussion as a Podcast, or if you have any feedback you would like to raise, please do so by contacting our Sections Manager, Suzanne Landis at who will direct this on to Prof. Rita Bottino and the team for review.

Best Regards,

Professor Wayne J. Hawthorne
IXA President

Dr. Jay A. Fishman

Associate Director, MGH Transplant Center
Massachussetts General Hospital
It is a busy time in xenotransplantation!

Rita Bottino has started to assemble a collection of IXA Media Resources – podcasts and lectures recorded and available to our membership. These will find a home on the IXA website as “IXA Media Resource Center” where you can enjoy them at your leisure. Our first collection is at the end of this letter.

As you know, internationally, multiple centers are developing preclinical and clinical studies of xenotransplantation. These are generally academic-corporate collaborations with tremendous engagement of surgical, medical, immunology, infectious disease, genetics, ethics, veterinary, and animal development groups – all essential for the optimal execution of complex studies. Xenotransplantation has driven innovation in immunosupression, organ perfusion systems, genetic manipulation, assays to monitor immune responses and potential xenozoonoses, infection control, pathology, and other areas – all of which will have beneficial impacts on the entire field of transplantation. Among the most challenging aspects of clinical xenotransplatation are the development of the scientific collaborations required to assess graft function, host immune responses, and infectious risk in recipients as well as the navigation of local and national regulatory systems. The upcoming 3rd Joint IPITA-IXA-CTRMS Congress (October 26-29, 2023 in San Diego) provides an opportunity to share our experiences and advance the entire field.

I look forward to meeting with many of you in San Diego!!

Jay A. Fishman, MD

This section contibues to introduce individuals in the xenotransplantation community – and perhaps to stimulate collaborations and questions for future investigation.

Chung-Gyu Park, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology,
Seoul National University College of Medicine;
Department of Biomedical Sciences,
Seoul National University Graduate School;
Director of the Xenotransplantation Research Center (XRC)
Seoul, South Korea

Chung-Gyu Park, MD, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Seoul National University College of Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the Seoul National University Graduate School. He is also the Director of the Xenotransplantation Research Center (XRC) in Seoul, South Korea. His interests have focused on basic microbiology and transplant immunology. Following post-doctoral training with Dr. Jeffrey Bluestone, his research has focused on immune-tolerance, islet transplantation and xenotransplantation. At XRC, he helped to establish pig-to-nonhuman primate (NHP) xenotransplantation research, including a porcine islet isolation core, the NHP facility, and the immune-monitoring core. Since 2013, as director of the XRC, he has made significant scientific contributions in pre-clinical pig-to-NHP studies on islet and cornea xenotransplantation. Among his many publications, Dr. Park has published over 160 papers in peer-reviewed journals; among his studies are innovative studies of pre-clinical immune-tolearnce induction with a novel anti-ICAM1 mAb in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Based on this experience, he has been able to establish the regulatory framework for xenotransplantation in Korea and is looking to initiate the first clinical trials of porcine islet and cornea xenotransplantation in Korea. Dr. Park has also helped to establish international guidelines for xeno beta-cell replacement therapies. He served as an IXA councilor (2011-2015), the associate dean at SNU College of Medicine (2015-2016), the president of the Korean Association for Immunologists (2016-2017), and the vice president of Korean Association of Laboratory Animal Science.

International Xenotransplantation Association Media Resource Center

Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin

Professor of Surgery, Director,
Program Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program,
University of Maryland School of Medicine

We present a collection of articles featuring Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, Professor of Surgery, Director, Program in Cardiac Xenotransplantation, University of Maryland School of Medicine, who, together with Dr. Bartley Griffin, led the team that recently performed the first xenotransplant of a porcine heart into a human patient at the University of Maryland, in Baltimore, USA. Dr. Mohiuddin is IXA President Elect, and a current member of the IXA Executive Committee.

The link that was provided by the University of Maryland, collects several pieces of media coverage of the first human heart xenotransplantation. Dr. Mohiuddin with his colleagues, share insights on the course of events surrounding this historical first in xenotransplantation, the circumstances and scientific ground that led to be granted permission from the competent authorities as well as the ethical motivation to offer this non-standard treatment to a very sick patient that had no chance to be treated with more conventional therapies. While raising debates, as all novel procedures do, discussions in the scientific community and in public have continued. The path to greater success can come from learning at each little step along the way. Dr. Mohiuddin has provided a veritable treasure trove to keep the discussions on xenotransplantation moving forward.

Dr. Megan Sykes

Director, Columbia Center for Translational Immunology,
Columbia University

A second collection of interviews, include among others, a joint interview of Dr. Mohiuddin and Dr. Meghan Sykes, Director, Columbia Center for Translational Immunology, Columbia University, USA, Past IXA President and Vice-President of The Transplantation Society, offering more insights on the potential of xenotransplantation as a solution to the human organ shortage.

Professor Peter Cowan

St. Vincent’s Hospital, Immunology Research Center;
Melbourne, Australia

Professor Vincent Lee

Renal Physician, Head of Nephrology;
Westmead Hospital, Sydney University

Lastly, for all IXA members that may have not viewed it yet, please, find the link to the Webinar presented on April 20, 2023 by IXA President Professor Wayne Hawthorne, Department of Surgery, Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, Australia. The Moderators for this session were past IXA President, Professor Peter Cowan, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Immunology Research Center, Melbourne, Australia along with Professor Vincent Lee, Renal Physician and head of Nephrology at Westmead Hospital, Sydney University, Australia. The presentation entitled: Xenotransplantation: A Novel Concept Or Humanity’s Reality For Curing The Organ Donor Shortage? is part of the Education Nuances in Nephrology initiative organized by the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) in collaboration with TTS.



International Xenotransplantation Association
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