The 27th International Congress of The Transplantation Society was recently held in Madrid, Spain. The host city was very welcoming, despite their disappointing elimination from the World Cup just as the Congress was getting underway. The IXA was well represented at the Congress by many of our members who found much to stimulate their wide-ranging interests.
Topics of importance fostered by the IXA this year include advancements in the genetic engineering of pigs in order to provide cells and organs for xenotransplantation and the possibility of clinical trials beginning soon; subjects which obviously go hand in hand with each other. A State of the Art Session provided valuable insights into kidney, heart, and islet xenotransplantation by experts in their respective fields, including perspectives for Clinical Xenotransplantation. Further detailed information was provided during the Oral Abstract Session on Xenotransplantation: Cell/Tissue and Immune Regulation, the Symposium on Issues Relating to Clinical Xenotransplantation as well as additional venues including a well-attended pre-meeting Workshop.
The Campfire Session was a welcome addition to the TTS Congress this year. Bringing up senior colleagues next to young trainees in conversation in a relaxing setting, participants gathered around centrally located “digital campfires” in the Exhibition Hall to discuss topics of mutual interest. During the New Approaches in Xenotransplantation Campfire, recent progress in organ xenotransplantation was discussed including methods of extending xenograft survival and a surrogate indicator of islet xenograft function. The emergence of groups from around the world to take on the challenges of xenotransplantation and the steady progress diligently achieved by using ambitious combinations of genetically engineered pig organs in preclinical models offers encouragement for the future of xenotransplantation.
The 2017 Carl-Gustav Groth Xeno Prize was presented to Zurab Machaidze and Heidi Yeh for their paper entitled: “Testing of microencapsulated porcine hepatocytes in a new model of fulminant liver failure in baboons.” The Xeno Prize is named after CG Groth, one of the modern pioneers of xenotransplantation and the Founding President of the IXA. It is awarded to the first author (or co-authors) of the paper judged by a select panel consisting of the IXA President, President-elect, and several Council members to be the best paper published in our official journal Xenotransplantation during the previous calendar year. Congratulations to the winners and all of the nominees who continue to show the passion for the field of xenotransplantation for which the IXA was founded to promote.
Leo Buhler, IXA President and Xenotransplantation Journal Editor-in-Chief, Heidi Yeh and Zurab Machaidze, 2017 Xeno-Prize winners, and Agnes Azimzadeh, IXA President-elect
Of related interest, Editor-in-Chief Leo Buhler also announced that thanks to the continued excellence of the work published in Xenotransplantation, the Impact factor for our journal continues to rise and is now 4,7. This score ranks Xenotransplantation 3rd among 25 transplantation journals.
In addition to scientific events held during the meeting, the IXA Council met to discuss several items including the preparation of our own 15th bi-annual Congress to be held next October in Munich, Germany and the upcoming 10th anniversary of the landmark First WHO Global Consultation on Regulatory Requirements for Xenotransplantation Clinical Trials (known as the Changsha Communiqué), which we will be highlighting more in a future newsletter.
As we look back fondly on our time in Madrid and the well-organized series of meetings presented by the TTS we thank our colleagues who have worked so hard to organize and provide many stimulating and educating presentations; we remind you that if you missed sessions you can listen to recordings on the website, and we look forward to seeing many of our international friends and associates next year at the IXA Congress in Munich.
International Xenotransplantation Association
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